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Transcript of address at the Australian of the Year Awards, Parliament House, Canberra.



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PRIME MINISTER

25 January 2004

TRANSCRIPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER THE HON JOHN HOWARD MP ADDRESS AT THE AUSTRALIAN OF THE YEAR AWARDS PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA

E&OE…………………………………………………………………………………….

The Australian of the Year Awards, always held on the eve of Australia Day, are a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the excellence and the achievement of the Australian nation. We have the Australian of the Year, the Young Australian of the Year, the Senior Australian and the Local Hero, and people nominated to these awards are not nominated by governments, they are nominated by the Australian people.

And the purpose of the Awards is to remind all of us of the incredible excellence of this country, to remind us that we are not only a vibrant democracy and a very diverse society, but also to remind us that we excel in so many fields. And when you look back over past Australians of the Year, you find in the case of the current Australian of the Year, Fiona Stanley, a world expert on the challenges and the problems of early childhood, you find great military figures such as General Peter Cosgrove, you find great sportsmen and women, you find great artists, you find great humanitarians. In other words, in every area of human endeavour Australians are to the forefront and I can't think of a more effectively symbolic way on the eve of Australia Day 2004 to remind us and to remind others of the achievements of this country, of its excellence and its superb qualities in so many fields.

May I, in welcoming all of you to this great event outside Parliament House in the national capital, wish all of you a very happy Australia Day and join, I know, 20 million of my fellow Australians in rejoicing in the privilege of living in the best country in the world.

[ends]

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