SPEECH - WALK TOGETHER MARCH - 31 OCTOBER 2015

Today we stand together united in our commitment to harmony, mutual respect and multiculturalism and in strong opposition to the bigots, the racists, the haters, the extremists. 

Today we say to the minority who have the nerve to speak of 'Reclaiming Australia' you do not speak for the country we love.

We are the most successful multicultural nation on earth, but can can be better - indeed, we must be better.

For too long we have seen and heard elected representatives espouse the benefits of multiculturalism while utterly failing to back up their words with choices that support diverse, inclusive communities.

For too long they have covertly stoked an atmosphere of mistrust and hostility under the guise of protecting our national interests. 

And it is this self-defeating attitude - packaging newcomers as a 'threat' - which will become our legacy if we allow division and prejudice to govern us.

In coming together today we reaffirm the true meaning of our nation.

We say to all those who strive to shape us as a people defined by what and who we are against, that Australia is firmly bound together by tolerance and understanding, and that your fabricated ethos does not represent us.

We proudly say to the Tony Abbotts of the world that it is neither a "catastrophic error" nor "misguided altruism" to show compassion, to see ourselves in one another and to commit ourselves to lift up the values of understanding and mutual respect.