I’d like to start by acknowledging that we meet on Nyoongah land, and pay my respects to elders past and present.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Friends of the Labor movement,
It’s my great honour to welcome all of you here today.
I especially acknowledge our Federal Labor leader, Bill Shorten and his wife Chloe.
WA Labor leader Mark McGowan and his wife Sarah.
Shadow Ministerial and Parliamentary colleagues.
And my running mates, Joe Bullock, Shane Hill and Klara Andric.
I was born in Kalgoorlie in 1972 and raised by a heroic working mother, Sandra and my loving stepfather Greg.
It was my mother who instilled in me - the belief - that to succeed, what Australia needs above all else - is to give - to as many as we can - the best possible education.
It’s those two things – my family and my education – which have made me who I am, and allowed me the honour of representing Western Australians and Labor for over a decade.
It’s a pleasure to welcome all of you today to the University of Western Australia – this fine institution is the site of many of my own political and intellectual struggles.
Being here today, I’m reminded of a young union organiser by the name of Mark Allen whom I was lucky enough to work and study alongside. Mark, like too many in our movement, was killed on the job.
Mark had a favourite saying: “Dare to struggle, dare to win”.
For me, that’s what being Labor is about.
We are all here today because we believe in a shared cause, because we have all worked to create a better Australian society...
...a better Australian economy...
...a better Australia.
All of our wins have been struggles: Medicare, the modern economy, universal superannuation, the Apology, the end of WorkChoices, the NBN, the NDIS, pricing carbon.
Struggles we’re proud of, struggles which made a difference for working Australians, struggles which mattered.
But we know the Liberal agenda is back.
We know they look at health and education and just see dollars, not services.
We know they’ll never support penalty rates, and basic working entitlements like superannuation.
We know they won’t fight to keep Aussie jobs in Australia.
We know the Liberal’s agenda and that’s why we can’t let them win.
So, I want to once again thank all of you for being here, for being part of this movement and to welcome you.
I now invite respected Noongah Elders Walter Eatts, Doolan-Leisha Eatts and Samuel Pilot to the stage to welcome us to country.