Through good fortune and hard work, Australia has prospered. We have been fortunate also to have inherited a civilisation with cultural values that have fostered human dignity and liberty, supported democracy and the rule of law, enhanced social cohesion and sustained economic progress.
Social cohesion is the bond that unites families, communities and the nation. It falls to every generation to transmit to the next, whether born here or overseas, the cultural values that underpin western civilisation. No culture is perfect, but the west has accorded greater freedoms, more justice, and enhanced prosperity for more individuals than any other civilisation known to history.
We should celebrate our civilisation. In particular, the foundations and story of western civilisation should be taught in our schools. And where elements of it are under attack, whether our freedoms or our democratic system, they need to be defended and strengthened.
Thirdly, the role of civil society – the myriad of institutions, groups and organisations that stand between the individual and the state – must be encouraged and supported without unnecessary regulation or governmental control.