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Thursday, 28 February 1985
Page: 381

Dr THEOPHANOUS(1.58) —Mr Speaker, I congratulate the honourable member for Braddon (Mr Miles) on his maiden speech. This is my first speech as the member for Calwell, a newly-created seat in Victoria. Before I go on to the main theme of my speech I want to say something about the great Arthur Calwell, after whom the seat has been named. Arthur Calwell was, of course, the leader of the Australian Labor Party for many years. He was in fact a man of enormous principle and dedication. He was a man who put up the philosophy of the Labor Party and supported that philosophy even when that philosophy was electorally unpopular, as it was in the early days of opposition to the Vietnam war. Arthur Calwell was a man of deep compassion for the poor and the underprivileged in our community. He was a person who believed that the democratic socialist philosophy of the Labor Party could be brought into play in such a way that it could bring about a fairer and more just society.

Arthur Calwell was also the acknowledged architect during the Chifley Government of Australia's post-war immigration program. That Australian Labor Party immigration program, which was continued by successive conservative governments, was based on courage and vision. The consequence was the building of Australia into a multicultural society through the impact of the successive waves of migration. This is the most enduring testament of the work of the great Arthur Calwell. I believe that it is particularly appropriate that the first member for Calwell is himself a migrant and a person who came to Australia as a child under the program initiated by Arthur Calwell.

Mr SPEAKER —Order! It being 2 p.m., the debate is interrupted in accordance with sessional order 101A. The honourable member for Calwell will have leave to continue his speech when the debate is resumed.