Each year the Premier hosts an Australia Day Address to reflect on Australia’s identity and the challenges that confront our contemporary society.
2015 Address - Fred Chaney AO
Fred Chaney AO, a leading advocate for Aboriginal reconciliation and constitutional recognition, delivered the second Premier’s Australia Day Address on 22 January 2015. It was titled - Australia, are we ready for reconciliation?
In his various roles, including student, lawyer and politician, Fred has been concerned with fairness for minorities including Aboriginals, people with disability, the poor and disadvantaged. He is a hard working champion of active citizenship and has demonstrated a commitment to social justice that has never faltered.
As founding co-chair of Reconciliation Australia and an early advocate for Aboriginal voting rights, Fred’s contribution includes establishing the Aboriginal Legal Service of Western Australia and serving as Federal Minister for Aboriginal Affairs from 1978-80. And in 2014 he was named Senior Australian of the Year.
Fred believes that government has a vital role in the maintenance of a prosperous peaceful and harmonious society, but that those outside government also have an important role to play. Fred continues to invite others to work collaboratively, respectfully and ambitiously to overcome the barriers that inhibit people’s full economic and social participation in Australian society.
2014 Address - Dr Tim Soutphommasane
Dr Tim Soutphommasane presented the inaugral Address on 23 January 2014. It was titled - Who’s afraid of pride and patriotism?
Tim is Australia's Race Discrimination Commissioner and commenced his five-year appointment in August 2013. Prior to joining the Australian Human Rights Commission, he was a political philosopher at the University of Sydney. His thinking on multiculturalism and national identity has been influential in reshaping debates in Australia and Britain.
Dr Soutphommasane is the author of The Virtuous Citizen (2012), Don't Go Back To Where You Came From (2012), Reclaiming Patriotism (2009) and co-editor of All That's Left (2010). He has been an opinion columnist with The Age and The Weekend Australian newspapers, and in 2013 presented the documentary series “Mongrel Nation” on ABC Radio National. He is a board member of the National Australia Day Council.
A first-generation Australian of Chinese and Lao extraction, Dr Soutphommasane was raised in southwest Sydney. He completed a Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Philosophy (with distinction) at the University of Oxford, and is a first-class honours graduate of the University of Sydney.