by Georgie Abbott
Dear Prime Minister,
Let me begin with warm congratulations on your new job.
What an honour it is for you to be our new leader.
Honestly, you are a breath of fresh air, and that is high praise coming from a Greens voter.
After two years of an inarticulate troglodyte at the helm, I have high hopes for you.
These congratulations aside (though they are sincere), I have a few things I would like to ask of you now you are the proud leader of our island nation. You have been given a unique opportunity to bring back the great name Australia deserves, particularly when it comes to basic Human Rights.
Prime Minister Turnbull, I never believed I would see the day when Australia would be responsible for heinous abuse towards innocent people. I also never thought (though this was clearly naivety at its best on my part) that a government would deliberately ignore accusations and demonise the people who brought it all to the public’s attention. The Abbott Government’s confected outrage towards Gillian Triggs and her report, The Forgotten Children, was disgusting. The strict rules of silence placed upon doctors who witnessed the atrocities were yet another blight on our National reputation.
To seek asylum is a fundamental Human Right, and I, like many Australians, am continually horrified by the treatment of people seeking a better life here in Australia.
The ‘stop the boats’ mantra we have been fed for the last two years leaves me speechless. The truth is the boats will never really stop, and I ask you not to have the same ‘see no evil’ attitude as your predecessor and those before him. The new goal to help Syrian refugees is a step in the right direction, but not quite enough. Please do not ignore those desperate people being held on our doorstep. They left their homes for a reason and they do not deserve this torture.
Prime Minister Turnbull, another Human Right that is currently being ignored in our sun abundant land, is the right for all men and women to marry whomever they choose. I understand that you have been in a loving and committed relationship for a very long time. You know the joy of promising to share your life with someone. It is time to allow everyone to do this. Your support has been admirable, but there is much more to do. To wait for the next election is simply not good enough for those who have already waited years. Love is love, and everyone deserves to celebrate it. Denying a part of the Australian community the right to marry, continues to place a stigma on gay relationships. This is not fair and ultimately unacceptable. You can be remembered as the Prime Minister who made Australia equal.
Prime Minister Turnbull, you may have already guessed, the theme of this letter is Human Rights and another pressing issue, is the rights of those Australians we should be most proud of, Indigenous Australians. It is time for you to undo Abbott’s work of alienating Indigenous people, and create a successful dialogue that moves to support and celebrate the culture that existed in lifeand times before Captain Cook ever declared 'Terra nullius.' Regardless of where people live, be it rural, outback or in the cities, we should be supportive and not deem it a fault of their 'lifestyle choice.'
Please be a role model, and shame xenophobic racist behaviour. Speak with Indigenous leaders and hear their ideas unlike previous governments who chose the ideas. This is supposed to be a land of opportunity and compassion for everyone with no second-rate treatment for anybody. Please advocate for this… immediately.
Prime Minister Turnbull, there are so many things I want to ask you, but I realise you are a busy man. So, I will end with one more point in need of addressing. Women’s rights should be at the top of your agenda. Please do not be like the arrogant, chauvinist who came before you, and please give the role of Minister for Women to a woman. Look at the wage gap and make a change. It is not OK to say it will be closer in a number of years. It must be on par today. Please also address violence against women. More must be done to educate people on this issue and create a safe environment for victims to speak about their experiences. It is not the responsibility of women to avoid violence, and you can help eliminate victim blaming.
Prime Minister Turnbull, I have never seen myself as a Liberal voter, but I do respect you… for now. You have replaced a leader who gave Australia a terrible reputation. Please do not waste your time in your new role. Act fast and create a legacy Australia can be proud of. Be on the right side of History. Do this for Australia.
Georgie (no relation to Tony) Abbott