Jacinta's Speech to the ARC Conference in London UK, on 31 October, 2023
Thank you so much. Thank you for being here in the first place at such a wonderful gathering of like‑minded people who, like the majority of Australians, want what’s best for each and every one of us.
We have experienced a turning point in our nation, in Australia, with the result of our national referendum.
It is one that has created hope, that has created unity, that has emboldened every day Australians to understand that it is perfectly ok to be who you are, to be proud of who you are as an individual, to be proud to be part of a family that should be respected, and a wider community that we should all be proud to contribute to positively.
Thrust upon us as the Australian people was a referendum that sought to divide us along the lines of race. To establish an entity, a bureaucracy known only by name, called the Voice.
But the Voice was based on a premise that Indigenous Australians are inherently disadvantaged for no other reason but because of our racial heritage, and suggesting that only this detail-less mechanism could improve the lives of our most marginalised, the lives of those who are closest to me, those who are dear to me, and those that I have grown up alongside and have the lived experience to understand what it is they in fact needed to be able to progress within our society, within a wonderful western society with incredible values that had become eroded because of the ideology of the left.
Being told that I’m a victim because of my racial heritage, and for those who are our most marginalised being told they are victims of their racial heritage, of our country’s history, because of colonisation, effectively meant our agency had been removed and that somehow it was the responsibility of white Australia to empower us, to empower us through our constitution, that in fact government is supposed to improve our lives.
We all know that’s not the case don’t we.
It’s been an incredible journey, going through this process of our referendum. The Yes campaign tried to use emotional blackmail, tried to teach everyday Australians that we belong to a racist country, tried to teach our children that they shouldn’t be proud to call themselves Australian, tried to suggest that if you are voting No that you belong to the wrong side of history.
Well, we showed them otherwise.
I’m personally grateful to my family for choosing to come on this journey with me, to share the target on their back, as I did, to establish that this was personal to us but it also meant it was personal to everybody else’s family.
Having a Warlpiri mother, who was born under a tree, whose first language was not English, who was determined to make a difference within our communities against all odds, growing up in a patriarchal culture, a traditional culture, where she was supposed to become a second wife in an arranged marriage at the age of thirteen, to radically fight against what was expected of her, to become a minister of the crown in our territory government certainly has emboldened me to take up this fight.
And to have a father who was a white Australian who played a huge role in my life.
A family of two different cultures, and now of course being married to a wonderful “Scozzie” and bringing up our four beautiful children as a blended family who I can tell you now, in terms of their heritage, are made up of Irish, Scottish, Welsh, English, German, Scandinavian, Chinese, Malay, Indian, there’s a great, great grandfather from Mozambique.
I suggested to our boys once that they could make a land claim perhaps on every continent on the face of the earth.
But this is Australia. This was our family’s story but this story belonged to each and every Australian and that was the most important element for us throughout this referendum, this David and Goliath struggle.
We always ensured that we were prepared to take on this battle and fight with the truth.
It has certainly emboldened my colleagues within the Coalition. I’ve been incredibly proud to fight alongside them so that we could ensure that Australians once again knew their value as individuals who have every right to contribute meaningfully to our communities, for the betterment particularly for our most marginalised who are Indigenous Australians whose first language is not English, who don’t have access to education, unlike the elite middle class Indigenous Australians who were attempting to ensure that there was a transfer of power to an industry built on the backs of the misery of our most marginalised through the constitution.
When we choose not to draw a line in the sand and stand up for what we know is right in the fact of crippling ideology, it is our most marginalised who suffer the most.
And I certainly could not stand back and allow for that to continue. The way forward from here is no more separatism, is no more dividing us along the lines of race, is no more political correctness, is no more identity politics.
It’s about recognising our capabilities as human beings, recognising that we all have agency, recognising that we don’t need another to empower us, we can do that ourselves and we can do that very well.
That is the way forward. That is the better story. And certainly I feel very grateful that after our successful referendum result in our remarkable country of Australia, and I’m very proud of Australia and to the 150 Australians out there today thank you very much, and if anybody from any other country would like any tips on how to push on this ridiculous ideology, we’re all here to help.
Thank you very much.
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