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The Hon. Bill Shorten Addresses the Crescent Institute, 6 May 2014

The Crescent Institute welcomed the Hon. Bill Shorten, Leader of the Labor Party and Federal Member for Maribyrnong on the 6th of May 2014. Check out the video highlights by clicking on the image above. (Click here for event photos)

The event took place at KPMG's Melbourne office attracting a full house given the calibre of speaker and topic of discussion. Peter Nash (Australia Chairman KPMG) welcomed guests as the host sponsor, shortly followed by a formal introduction of the guest of honour by the patron of the Crescent Institute, Talal Yassine OAM.


(Image from left to right: Talal Yassine Patron Crescent Institute, the Hon. Bill Shorten Leader of The Opposition, Hilal Yassine Chairman Crescent Institute, Peter Nash Australia Chairman KPMG)


Bill Shorten commenced by expressing his delight at being invited to speak to the Crescent Institute about multiculturalism and for Talal's support in making the event happen.


Mr Shorten delved into his own personal heritage highlighting that his ancestors were migrants and comically exclaiming 'some may term them boat people' who were in search for a better life. Shorten exclaimed that "there is no disputing the extraordinary contribution that migrants have made to every facet of Australian life" and that it has transformed Australia from an isolated outpost to a "vibrant, prosperous and multicultural nation".

Bill continued to speak about his own personal electorate of Moonee Ponds where 51 out of every 100 households speak a language other than English at home and shopping strips are filled with a vast mixture of various cultural cuisines.

However Mr Shorten emphasised that multiculturalism goes beyond social and cultural benefits and that "it is a key driver of our [Australia's] national prosperity". He continued to quote various economic statistics on migrant contributions both in the short, medium and long term highlighting the indisputable contributions made to Australia by migrants..


Mr Shorten refuted arguments that suggest "migrants are sponging off government welfare and yet simultaneously taking Aussie jobs" stating that he strongly believed in the exact opposite; "migrants don't take jobs - they create them".
Following on from his strong conviction of migrant contributions, Mr Shorten continued to speak about the future contributions made possible with immigration, where the sheer diversity created in work forces will be a key driver of technological and cultural innovation.

It was also highlighted that individuals who are able to leave everything they have been accustomed to are "courageous and self-starters. The exact type of person who has drive and self belief to launch an innovative new business"

Bill concluded by highlighting that misinformation about migrants needs to be met with facts and rational thought. He pointed to three main areas where the population and migration arguments have been merged for political purposes including: infrastructure, unemployment and the preservation of 'community harmony’. He believe these facets should never be used as arguments against migration but a need to improve and thrive in these areas.

These issues were a focal point of Mr Shortens message exclaiming that "every time a new immigrant feels that their legitimacy as an Australian is being questioned – there are consequences. It dents their confidence and their place in the community."

He finished by strongly opposing the proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act and the need to avoid creating any sense of immigrant illegitimacy in Australia.

During the final segment of the vening,  Mr Shorten fielded a wide range of questions ranging from the type of Australia he would like to see in 10 years time, further reforms to the Labor party, strategic investments as Australia's demographics change, Australia's relationship with Indonesia and the Pies (AFL team).

The Crescent Institute would sincerely like to thank the Hon. Bill Shorten for his attendance and his address to the Institute. Additionally the Institute would like to thank its sponsors for their generous support.

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Crescent Institute would like to thank all members and guests who attended the evening. The event would not have been possible without you and we hope you had an enjoyable time.




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If you have any comments or suggestions please don’t hesitate to forward them through via email: info@crescentinstitute.com.au