Bill's Speeches

FAITH BANDLER AC

STATEMENT ON INDULGENCE – FAITH BANDLER AC

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

MONDAY, 23 FEBRUARY 2015

 

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Faith Bandler’s passing on 13 February closed a chapter in one of the most remarkable and inspiring stories of our national life.

Faith spent her life, not battling her own injustices, but the injustices she saw inflicted upon others.

Surely that is humanity at its purest – a life spent in the service of others.

Faith was an activist, a fighter, a warrior - but her weapons were compassion, respect and intelligence.

In her leadership of the 1967 referendum campaign, she changed hearts and minds – and she changed the nation.

Madam Speaker, Robert F. Kennedy once said:

“Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events.

And in total, of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.”

For Faith Bandler, bringing meaningful improvement to the lives of the First Australians was an all-consuming mission – it was the test of a generation.

As she recalled of the1967 Referendum:

“I used to get very emotional about it because it possessed me. I became totally obsessed with that campaign.”

Madam Speaker

All of us in the Labor party offer our heartfelt condolences to Faith Bandler’s family and loved ones.

Let us promise to honour her memory, by carrying on her work.

Let us vow not to rest until Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are honoured and recognised in our nation’s founding document.

Let us make Faith Bandler’s lasting memorial a full life of equal opportunity for every Australian.

In Faith’s words:

“It would be a wonderful thing.”

May she rest in eternal peace.

ENDS

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