Defining texts - Speeches
The following speech was given by Prime Minister Paul Keating in Redfern, Sydney. Keating was widely regarded as a powerful speaker although some would argue his insults were better known. The location Keating selected for this speech was an inner Sydney suburb with a higher than average proportion of Indigenous Australians and immigrants - a state that continues today. It is also a suburb that has seen significant unrest at various stages and has a reputation for both poverty and a strong sense of community. The decision to deliver the speech in Redfern was seen as both brave and symbolic.
Prime Minister Paul Keating
LAUNCH OF INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF THE WORLD'S INDIGENOUS PEOPLES, 1993
The 'Redfern Speech'
Written by Don Watson and Paul Keating
(authorship is contested by both)
What does this speech tell us about the values held by Australia at the time?
What does it imply about the values Australia had before this speech?
Highlight the blank section below for a hint.
While Keating gives many examples about Australia's treatment of Indigenous Australians it can also help to think about what he says can still be done, as those things are clearly not yet in place in 1993.
This next speech happened 15 years later. This time, the Prime Minister was Kevin Rudd.
Use this lesson to help you discuss how the difference between speeches across different decades demonstrate how Australian attitudes have changed.
Keep in mind you need to use examples - this means that you need to refer directly to the speeches- quote them!
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Answering these questions may help you define your response.
- What are the main differences between the two speeches?
- In what ways have these speeches encouraged a new Australia?
- How have these two speeches demonstrated how Australia has changed over time?