Kevin Rudd: Others' values have created this crisis. But we will prevail over it

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The Independent Online

On this Australia Day, what are the values that have shaped this vast land into the great nation it has become? I believe there are three – courage, resilience and compassion. These great values have enlivened our national soul for more than a century. They have shaped our past, they steel us for the present, and they secure our future. They are part of our nation's moral compass, they are part of our nation's moral purpose. We see these great values etched deep in our pioneers, in our farmers, in those who have championed women's suffrage, those who have fought in the mud and the blood of the Somme, those who forged the spirit of Kokoda.

Values that have shaped our past that steel ourselves for the present, values that will secure our future. Values on which we will now need to draw deeply as we confront the great challenges of the year that lies ahead, replete with its uncertainties. Challenges from crises beyond our shores.

This great global crisis is not of Australia's making, but as Australians we are left to deal with it. And deal with it we will. The causes of this crisis are complex. But ultimately they go to a set of values that are the very antithesis of our own. Values of unrestrained greed, encouraged by an ideology of unfettered markets. Nothing of courage and certainly nothing of concern or compassion for others, or the consequences of their actions.

But now we face the consequences here at home of this unrestrained greed abroad. Our challenge as a Government is to steer Australia through. It will be hard. There will be setbacks. But of this I am absolutely persuaded, that steeled by the values of our past, guided by the policy we have set and supported by a community engaged by the needs of our neighbours, we will prevail.

Courage, resilience, compassion. Three great values that are anchored in the realisation of a fourth, and that is that we are all in this together. Business, unions, bosses, workers, government, the community, governments federal, state and local. Those who have come to this land 200 years ago, those who are welcomed into the nation's family today. Indigenous Australians, non-Indigenous Australians. We are all in this together.

The prime minister of Australia was speaking at an Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony in Canberra

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