THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT MEMBER FOR SYDNEY
SPEECH AT THE WELCOME RECEPTION FOR AUSTRALIAN AMERICAN LEADERSHIP DIALOGUE – YOUNG LEADERSHIP DIALOGUE
14 MAY 2014
- I am very pleased to be here tonight to welcome delegates to Parliament House.
- While there are a lot of similarities between Australians and Americans – there are also differences.
- Just one of the differences is that it is completely beyond me how anyone would find Two and a Half Men funny. I just don’t get it.
- But in deeper and much more meaningful ways, there is much on which we do share an understanding.
- I have been thinking every day about the plight of 200 Nigerian girls who were kidnapped recently. I was pleased to hear the United States pledge to help find them and return them, and I’ve said so to your marvelous Ambassador.
- The girls were kidnapped from their school dormitory by a terrorist organization hell bent on preventing girls from getting an education. Boko Haram literally means western education is sinful.
Michelle Obama’s used her address on Mothers’ Day to speak about the girls and their families, and the 65 million girls missing out on an education around the world. Her words reflect a shared set of values between our two nations:
- We believe in the right to have a decent education;
- We believe in extending and protecting human rights;
- We support the rights of women to participate equally in society, the workforce and economy;
- We believe people should have religious freedom and be able to practice religion or refuse to, without discrimination; and
- We believe that everyone should have the right to work hard to better their circumstances if they can.
- So while I will never get the appeal of Charlie Sheen…
- With other Australians I will always see the US as one of the countries most similar to Australia in outlook and values.
- And we also see the US as one of our closest and most constant friends.
- Our friendship, our shared values and common outlook – are made all the stronger through initiatives like the Young Leadership Dialogue.
- I would like to congratulate Australian American leadership Dialogue and the Youth Leadership Dialogue, and formally welcome delegates to Parliament House.