With apologies to Kevin Rudd

Australian House of Representatives, 12 February 2052

The Clerk: Government business notice number 1, Motion offering an apology to asylum seeker children kept in Australian detention centres.

The Speaker: Prime Minister.

Prime Minister: Madam Speaker, I move:

That today we honour the refugee children of this land, those who have richly contributed to this country we call home.

We reflect on their past mistreatment.

We reflect in particular on the mistreatment of those who were children in offshore detention – this blemished chapter in our nation’s history.

The time has now come for the nation to turn a new page in Australia’s history by righting the wrongs of the past and so moving forward with confidence to the future.

We apologise for the laws and policies of successive Parliaments and governments that have inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss on these our fellow Australians.

We apologise especially for the mental anguish of these children on distant islands, and the effect it has had on their families and their community.

For the pain, suffering and hurt of these children, their descendants and for their families left behind, we say sorry.

To the mothers and the fathers, the brothers and the sisters, for the languishing, the trauma, the uncertainty, we say sorry.

And for the indignity and degradation thus inflicted on a desperate people searching for help, we say sorry.

We the Parliament of Australia respectfully request that this apology be received in the spirit in which it is offered as part of the healing of the nation.

For the future we take heart; resolving that this new page in the history of our great continent can now be written.

We today take this first step by acknowledging the past and laying claim to a future that embraces all Australians.

A future where this Parliament resolves that the injustices of the past must never, never happen again.

A future where we harness the determination of all Australians, whether from across the seas or born on our nation’s shores, to close the gap that lies between us in prejudice, xenophobia and hatred.

A future where we embrace the possibility of new solutions to enduring problems where old approaches have failed.

A future based on mutual respect, mutual resolve and mutual responsibility.

A future where all Australians, whatever their origins, are truly equal partners, with equal opportunities and with an equal stake in shaping the next chapter in the history of this great country, Australia.


An open letter to the Australian people: crown me as your Kitsch King

Friends, Australians, expatriates. Lend me your ears, and your eyes, though beware the smoke machine. I volunteer my services in securing our nation’s forthcoming greatest victory. I do this not for the platitudes, great though it may be, but out of a simple, deep-rooted patriotism.

I ask that you give me the privilege of being Australia’s debut champion in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. This honour, bestowed on this fair southern land despite all arguments of logic, geography or a century of history, is our chance to grasp a rare kind of glory; one in which all that glitters is, indeed, gold.

Friends, I can help us gain that glory and bring this esteemed competition to Canberra for 2016. My voice cannot sing and is deaf in both pitch and tone, but that has not stopped past competitors. What this country needs is a unique visual feast, and it so happens that I am skilled in the great dance of our people. Behold! For I am arguably the finest performer of this physical ritual, aside from its creator: Mr Peter Garrett of Sydney.

Assuming the master declines to represent our land at this contest of contests, I plead that you select his natural apprentice. For I have spread the gospel of his dance; from suburban dinner parties to the karaoke bars of New York City.  Indeed, I vanquished a foe during the Great Oxford Street Dance Off of September, 2012. At least, I did according to what I can remember of that liquor-lathered evening.

So I humbly beseech thee, let me dance out the dreams of 23 million souls upon the Vienna stage. And I ask also that you comb the land for backup dancers, others skilled with the Gift of the Garrett. Sequins, plush marsupials, fireworks and artificial wind to accompany me would not go astray also.

Of course, I understand that you may not choose me to carry this heavy but beautiful burden upon my padded shoulders. But if not, I ask that I be the messenger who greets the distant continent with promises of points for the enemy’s teams. A simple smile and a “g’day Europe” with a harbour background behind me is within my range of skills.

Choose me, and we will taste victory in so short a span of competition! Alternatively, scribble your name to this petition so that my next choice, TISM, may take the mantle.

Glamorously yours,

Stephen Jeffery

P.S. I have a shirt decorated with swordfish if that helps my case. Please hire me.

P.P.S. Pls.