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An Australia Day luncheon to the Rotary Club of Melbourne



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FOR-MEDIA

I - w e l c o m e . tJ>e opporturjit-y. ro -toB with you today for this-.;" Australia Day luncheon. . - · ■ . · ____________________....

Much has happened since we. celebrated our. national; anniversary; last year, - and as w e approach 'this'·Australia D a y , m a n y : signs . : · = · point. to a critical decade for Australia and the world in ^in-Lerdat-ional affairs.

The years ahead will oe challenging ones. · .

They .will· require, from our nation - and from national · leadership · everywhere"

These characteristics a re no t xm f am i 1 i ar to /rusiralisns. Tbey; ^- derive from· a - - con fide iicg in our nation and a convictioft ahout: , t h e ' values it staiYoB. for. That is why on this Australia Day: it'is : time for···all·· of -us to" stop ami think about v?bet it means to be -

an Auatrai . i a i t - i s ·to erperience a ssnse u l p r i S e that ·>·Î½

derives from being Australian j. and to what, e x t e n t our national * r pxi.de feuilt from our- pastyw.|l 1 < g i v e : us - theT courage: amd -fk ; ... defermifvatioh that - wii-l-be needed for the ohn.xleyvgcrc· · of · the . f u t u r e : -"Our history is unique. In less* than' 200 years we have grown from ■ * - -

a penal c-o "l.ony.. into a ■ ■ I an d of enviable— f reedom X-fe· - i s "easy. to - > understand why Mark Twain once v?roie, ” ,. - Australissi history - does not read like history but like the most beautiful lies. And all Of a fresh new so rt-, nfi men i <11 v r —si· .a-3-is— — it- is -full v ^

of surprises and adventures, and-Incongruities, and contradictions ,.. and incredibilities. But they are all true·? they all happened.

Now as we begin a n e w decade, a -new dimension is being added to.W - this h i s t o r y . .."The-realities -of: the hex·# decade are vastly different from those of decades p a s t. Many of the- old certaiiiiies :arf> gnne, ■­ in a world which is becoming increasingly 'competitive?- .where new - nations have emerged with - their own. identities and needs? now· ■ ■

more than e v er,,it"is op to /costiaiians-to accept the challenge to ■ forge Austxal.ia’s future.

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"There■are two ^tius future. . Inithe

first place, living in Australia means living m a progressive, prosperoxts, free and multicultural nation« It meajxs being one of —h people ■ v?hQ. out of ;ali p4_ opoxtion to their comp a r a - -i vel\r .--gnali . numbers, have produced worId-renow ne d explorers and engineers?-.·:,

scientists and sportsmen ? painters and poets; mariners and . -rous-ici sns ; soldiers and statesfnen-—v?hen these endowntents are coupled to'the strength and the abundant reserves of - raw jnateriaist- - and energy, it highlights our position of privilege in a w o r l d

d enied m any of the opportunl tl- ea a^ail^ble t-O n s ,

B a t national privilege is rergly a.cei cental, It is folly .to imagine that things will come to those who sit and wai t . Individual ■ and national success must be pursued with attitudes and initiatives which m a k e . our goals achievable. Privilege, brings...with it obligation

and.responsibility„ and the successful meeting.of o u r individual - . · * end national responsibilities breeds national p r i d e „ ,

T n this 75th anniversary - year· of tRotary international, y o u will - r xmdefsfand the-notion of pride.stemming from responsibilities .met Because pride based on self respect'starts with-the individual,; "T7B urost^iiicreasingly dhcourage. the feeling of pride amongst all- - ■

Australians. — in v?haf. they do. -In-particular we need, increasingly, to-recognise the worth, the quality, the intrinsic merit.of much it ■ that- goce on in Axrstralxs^— rce grot tidily, the opposite is too often the. ease* There is a. tendency to appreciate nothing; to dencgrate

everything; to be cynical about achievement; unmindful of-the . -%uality— ■ and. i?ripoxtance- of— t h e -effort a. of fellow Australians, . · .

Perhaps this negative response to what the next -.person does 'is-·- * -uni- n- tc n 11 on a 1 -1 perhaps - it -is--an ruvthl-ftk-iug response, - But national confidence and the n a t i o n ’s capacity would benefit inimeasmrahly , : · ^.«J&ach one of . us laying that- attitude aside. Instead, .let - us - - . . -con ce n t rate \ a m . on e rg ie s' o n . tl-l vinen: we:, work. we. 11, ..whemye-'

p u t everything into our effort,".when we donot settle for: half pace, :~ t»e-:are- bound - t-o - achieve.-- And: achievement Toxeates-.confidence .-inlSsr? onrsei vps . ... ■ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ .... . .

This feeling of confidence is infectious. It.becomes reflected.- f in our community, in fhp ppopXe we w o rk with and those to-whom' ” · w c act 33 an example- A nation,which lacks confidence is impotent·--·:.-, to act; i n , i t s'*own iiitexestsTOxs to:promotetthose* values · . if-'roosh ·-i.-

cherishes. As" we enter s new decade, there are clear sigh's.-.that' national confidence Is re-emerging; that national pride is being reasserted: that a heartening national consensus is emerging -about - the values v?e seek to enshrine in our w ay of life. This -is - a most ■

positive sequel to a decade of great change» ..

When I spoke to the nation on ttev? Year's Day, I-stressed how . imp or rant, it was to take advantage of the opportuni tics ' in "front7.Λ of us, and not to be inundated and influenced by the voices of .

pcss-irriism raid .-gi gate... These can have.-an extremely ^corroding; effected?;-ΤΠΤ achievements» . -

’ «hen the First Fleet landed; and the convicts, the pioneers and, siittluiO «II set-down h e r e , e ome I π · mi s § ry. . . and rde spai r , j the 1 and '5-r·* ' that they-began, to-build was no ssothe'r of i:essiinism. On ~ i h e~ :con t r a'liyy the convicts -.who landed almost - 200 years ago.nurtUred inltheif^. -ir: — bcerte— the hope that tMsr~Wt?Ui&· b~ g~ a “k i n der and more just land ’ ·

than the one from which they had been expelled. In the ensuing.

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years, people from overseas have been in spired with the same · spi-rlfc of op i inLtsiir to make ·a life in Australia. Many of -these. P&opJLo had experienced war and repression> They knew the anguish that comes when the fandly is divided and the homeland is conquered.

These people brought with them a faith that this strange, new land held out prospects for the future which would outweigh the m i ser. ies--of their p a s t . -And with this faith they helped build ' our nation. Their achievements remind those of us whose ■ -

struggles have been less demanding that we must never surrender to ppsqitrif^i!>.______ __

They remind us that the one thing that leads a nation into -

p e ssiuiF.m is a lank, of confidence amongst its people — a lack — of - confidence brought about vfhen initiative, dries - up and the t . national will weakens*.. For in-spite of .-bur p ast achievements, our- future success o-rm never be assumedp,.our challenges .will ^hbver -

diminish:. 1 The kind of -nation we- leave to our children is" very.;J ·* much"up to us.· This brings me to the second dimension of Australia's future - the new international challenge.

Even in .this regard, many of the old certainties have passed. - F o r a long t ime, A u stralia was regarded.by many as an appendage -­ of Britain? others said v?e were too close to the ti.S.'h. * too - much-an unquestioning ally. · Today, v?e are a fiercely independent

n a t i o n , winning in or easing i η t e m a f c i on a 1 respect for this sense - of independence. Rut international recognition -for. Australia has not come about through abrasive or aggressive behaviour. F ather, it is a product of the expression of a., clearly and .

di stirs c-ti vely Austral i an point, of view. Our r e I at i on sh .ip s in. E u r o p e , South East Asia and the third world have been strengthened by the substance and the quality of argument vith which o u r views· h nVe ijviruTJ corpr v :? fee d ,

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I "must say, that in the. fm~molation of these views, the role of·' Austral i a*s—erast.ingnished band of Public Servants - has' beeir> significant: I refer in - particular to the Department of Foreign 7if fairs? the Department of Defence; the nev? Office- of National Assessments; -the Be pa r t men £ o f ■ Bri rue Minister and Cabinet? and others whose..

expertise is frequently called u pon« So often w hen critics want the notion of public service to carry' with it an .rm favour able - r isg, Jdiese—p eople— a re referred to -collectivelyias-- - .

"the bureaucracy” . - .

Yet-there— is- cause-for pride in the quality of - service that many . Public Servants give to the nation. And in. these uncertain t i m e s , their advice becomes even more impox tout. Because in the - - internaiJjoaal. si t uatf-ou ■ that - confronts all nations, - Australia - -

has a resonponsibility to make its views known. The facts emerging .from most recent developments cannot be ig n o r e d - . ' American citizens are being held hostage in Iran. Almost two * months ago, supported by the Soviet U n i o n , the Security Council of the United Nations "urgent ly called on the government of I r a n to release immediately the personnel of the Embassy of the 13. S - A , being held in T e h e r a n ...”

That- c a l l ■ has .remained unanswered,.-And the President'of the . United States faces the agonising problem of securing the release of these hostages alive.

T h e n , almost; a month ago, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, ■ - . an independent and non-aligned country-.-- Such an -act has brought— ----about a watershed in the relationship between -the East/West · ' alliances:-.

For - the first time· .in the last 35 yea r s , Soviet forces .have?- clashed i*.Ti% directly" with" those of "a" non-aligned p o w e r , .outside what- ha&hlong: - : - , been accepted hs the Soviet · bloc: This: is “the first instance in ".- -that '■time'*when- the..Soviet Union has normally used forc-es - t t v -----------

overthrow the. government" of ."a"’non-aligned power, - The Soviet U n i o n ’s1:·- . ­ behaviour’ represents "a uni lateral1 act- Of ' expansion- consistent -with the'bften" stated.' often ignored, often underestimated 1 * ---------aims of Soviet imperialism.

Suddenly w e arc confronted v?ifch greater uncertainties' than > -" -__________ existed at-'any time ‘ during the cold' w a r period," Prevlbiis■ crise s ; <_·. inr:Berlin,y.Cuba and Korea involved mattors of^nottoous regional significBhce, As«'sach-' they were o f ^concern" to the free world:-'" They challenged-!'-.!____

the reputation/ the strength and the credibility of the free world. - They struck at its unity and cohesiveness. These crises were of . : - momentous political and ideological significance. ________

All" these factors axe present in the new crisis, in Afghanistan p~.; -but ίή "this n e w crisis there is -a further dimensioni If ther _________

opportunism-of - the Soviet - Union is not checked, the; consequences will - indeed be great. X have never suggested that there js a grand ' · d e s i g n , a master p i an , a fixed timetable for Soviet expansion. - ____

That is touch too simple a view. But 1 do suggest", indeed-Ifhave - ­ always believed, that the Soviet Union will exploit a v/eakness. " They will take advantage of any opportunity that offers, or can b e manufactured, in areas, of enormous e 11 ategic a m i ' economlc. -

significance. :

That is the danger of Afghani stan , If if £uti 1 c trf-argue the -motives ~ i for the Soviet Union * s move into Afghanistan. The faet-is they^are" i there».. Their troops tare-there.::

act-t-bat:theylare-there pxovidesv.the Soviet Vnion,_teh^n^.tbeil2i. · prospect." a rises, of tailing" , or even making, the^opportunityv;' p to secure access to the Indian Ocean and the-PCXinan- G u l *,;.- " , -Q— ---; — realise one of R ussiaTs most: c-IYe risked dreams fox. v?arra wafer. . . . .

ports. ,

On top of this, it offers the opportunity for influence_or-.control"Γ-’ Ύ over.strategic oil fields. .Influence o r »control over i-iiddle Bast- oil production would provide.; the U . S .S .F. with the. .Q3s>5cit y . to desxra the economics of tie s t e m Europe arid fetosfc industrialised nations, ·--.

I have said before that there are those who argue t h at this is a —

"worst case” . But it is such a case that all our: advice t e l l s .us -

w e cannot ignore. This w e e kend, wlien we reme?nber Australia’s , . - ^ pa.st- -and celebrate, the-foundation of xth i s : n ation,- 1 w i I I ;-beh-ieaving for' discussions γ/itb the President of the Untied States and -the ■ Prime Minister of Britain. My purpose v>ill be to exchange views, to

seek·opinions. When we have the benefit of the views and opinions_c of o t h e r s , as a result of our visit, we, as a government, will-be·' better placed to take v?hatever decisions may be needed in the best interests of the Australian peop.le. The task is a serious one, made

more so by the consciousness we all have of the r. m a of nation chat

we want in the future; .and of the aspirations and concerns,of all - - Australians for . the- future. .

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In spite of the ΰ i £ £ i cn 1t ίοs , we are entitled to be optimistic about our ability to reach our goals. Our optimism about the .

future is very much a product of the proud record of our

successful past. On Australia Day we are entitled to reflect on our o a s t . When v?e do. we remember difficulties overcome, obstacles s n m o t m t e d , The very first settlers, .v?hcm v?e remember on Australia D a y , survived debilitating months at sea. Our e a rly .pioneers staked o u r a future in a baxsk and forbidding

continent. And in many ways our nationhood was b o m in the- courage·and sacrifice of Gallipoli.

The maimer in which this nation was built from such 'an empty . . .

wilderness is tribute itself to the magnificent way in which Australians have responded to challenge.

It inspires an almost unspeakable pride in being "Australian . * ■ Nov? v?e must set our sights on tomorrow ’ e. achievement. We must do everythiny— thst edit humanly be done to avoid the pitfalls and the dangers that might lie ahead. We need to remember - --­

that in times of danger, we must do more than gust simply :

put —tip—yC' ith iTtjrs-jtSTtruntrr· ------We must take the initiati ve. And the highest reward for o u r ' inif- i- a- Sives -would— be— a-t^orld "in which all people were able to live out their lives and work otit their own futures .in an

atmosphere of security and stability.

But short of that, Australia Day reminds us that what Australians have done for our country» in the past, we must now seek to do

for our . children . in the- future-,—No task could be so challenging, none so potentially rewarding.......... ; ... * "..

X feel .confident .that- it ire-a. challenge that will bring from' ... all Aust.rn) ianp the unity in spirit and the strength of purpose '."., that will enable us to meet it ^successfully. ..... ...... ·—

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