On behalf of the Australian Labor Party, I have the special privilege of congratulating Rosie Batty on being named the 2015 Australian of the Year.
Today we honour the bravery, selflessness and unconquerable sprit of a remarkable woman.
Rosie Batty should not have had to become Australian of the Year. That terrible act of violence should never have happened.
We all know Rosie and Luke’s story now because Rosie refused to yield to the silence, ambivalence and acceptance that too often shrouds family violence.
Australians have marveled at Rosie’s courage, and we have drawn new faith from her strength.
Through the worst heartbreak and devastation, Rosie forced all of us to confront family violence as a national, public issue. In doing so, she has become an inspiration for all of us.
Rosie is honoured today on behalf of the thousands of women and children who, right now, suffer the scourge of family violence.
The existence of family violence in modern Australia is our shared shame, and its total elimination is our shared challenge.
As we recognise Rosie’s contribution to our nation, let us also renew our commitment to eliminating family violence from our national life.
Tonight we also congratulate Jackie French for being named Senior Australian of the Year, Drisana Levitzke-Gray for being named Young Australian of the Year, and Juliette Wright for being named Australia’s 2015 Local Hero.
We also thank Adam Goodes for his service as the 2014 Australian of the Year.
In their own endeavours, these exceptional men and women have bettered our nation, and they reflect the best of us.
It is our honour to congratulate them on recognition richly deserved.
SUNDAY, 25 JANUARY 2015
MEDIA CONTACT: GERARD RICHARDSON 0427 349 655