Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
ALP Leader promises a new leadership style.



Download WordDownload Word

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

This transcript has been prepared by a source external to the Parliamentary Library.

 

It may not have been checked against the broadcast or in an y other way. Freedom from error, omissions or misunderstandings cannot be guaranteed.

 

For the purposes of quoting verbatim from a transcript, it is advisable to verify the transcript against the broadcast.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

PM

 

Monday 4th December 2006

ALP Leader promises a new leadership style

 

MARK COLVIN: Kevin Rudd is an ambitious man who's been one of Federal Labor's most solid performers. 

 

Today the Queenslan
der became the party's third leader in as many years. 

 

At his first press conference as leader of the Federal Opposition, Mr Rudd promised a new style of leadership, as we've heard, and an alternative policy platform rather than an echo of the Government. 

 

Lindy Kerin has been looking into what that may mean. 

 

KEVIN RUDD: The Labor Party today elected a new leadership team. We've elected a new style of leadership. 

 

LINDY KERIN: Kevin Rudd has come a long way. 

 

As the youngest of four children, he spent his childhood on a dairy farm on Queensland's Sunshine Coast. 

 

It was a tough childhood. 

 

His father died when he was 11 and the family was evicted from their farm, and slept in their car until a new home was found. 

 

Last year, in an interview with the ABC's Sunday Profile , Kevin Rudd spoke about his difficult childhood. 

 

KEVIN RUDD: Sitting at the gate of the property and looking down the road coming in from town and he said, "Well, Kev," he said, "have you made up your mind yet?" Like I'm about 10 years old at this stage, and I thought, "I'm not sure what you mean Dad", and he said, "Well you're coming to that fork in the road", and as a 10-year old you look down the road and you see no fork, you don't know what the hell he's talking about.  

 

He said, "No have you made up your mind - the big choices in life, is it going to be beef or is going to be dairy?"  

 

And I think that's when I discovered a big interest in China. 

 

But if you grew up in provincial towns right around Australia, where, frankly, you're conditioned by the environment you grow up in, that the options are to go off in the bank, maybe become a teacher, stay on the land, and these are all good things to do. And where I have this great respect for my parents is that, given the very difficult environment that they grew up in during the depression, that and limited educational opportunities, within all of that they were always encouraging me to go out and do as much as I could in life.  

 

LINDY KERIN: Kevin Rudd is known to be fiercely determined. He was the dux of the Nambour High School in Queensland.  

 

His high school drama teacher, Beryl Muspratt, has remained close friends with the family. 

 

Today, she reflected back on one of her favourite students. 

 

BERYL MUSPRATT: Kevin was one of my most valued actors. He was very good at everything he stepped into, had a wonderful sense of humour and also was very capable - he spoke very well. 

 

I just know him as a good upstanding man. I've known him ever since then. And when he was in the diplomatic service in China, he used to visit me when he came home, so I've kept in touch.  

 

LINDY KERIN: Kevin Rudd took a cleaning job to put himself through university in Canberra. He graduated with First Class Honours in Chinese Language and History. He joined the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Fluent in Mandarin, he was posted to Beijing as a junior diplomat. 

 

His first foray into politics was in Queensland. He became chief of staff to the State Opposition Leader Wayne Goss and helped guide the ALP to government. 

 

Today the State Premier Peter Beattie today offered his congratulations. 

 

PETER BEATTIE: He is well regarded in Queensland. I think he has the youthful energy and capacity, and he'll be getting every bit of support I can give him. He's got a good, sound mind, and that mind is a good policy mind. The truth is that if you've got good policy, you get good government. 

 

MARK COLVIN: Peter Beattie, the Queensland Premier, ending that report by Lindy Kerin.