Member’s first speech

In her first speech to the House of Representatives, Ms Ged Kearney MP, the newly-elected Member for Batman, paid tribute to Australia’s first peoples, particularly the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation.

Jun 6, 2018

 ‘The Aboriginal community has always been at the heart of Batman's identity.’ Ms Kearney spoke of her large family and their ‘dinnertime parliament’, which shaped her view of community and of the world, and inspired her activism. She explained what solidarity meant to her ‘as a mum, as a nurse and as a trade unionist’, saying ‘Solidarity is the expression of our shared humanity...It is the fundamental recognition that the greatest human dignity is the experience of opportunity and equality.’

Ms Kearney also addressed the issue of asylum seekers, describing it as ‘a passionate and emotional issue for the voters in Batman's community.’ She closed her speech with a quote from Prime Minister Ben Chifley, ‘I try to think of the Labour movement, not as putting an extra sixpence into somebody's pocket, or making somebody Prime Minister or Premier, but as a movement bringing something better to the people, better standards of living, greater happiness to the mass of the people. We have a great objective—the light on the hill—which we aim to reach by working for the betterment of mankind not only here but anywhere we may give a helping hand.’