O’Neill’s vision of fairness for all

Senator for NSW Deborah O'NeilSenator for NSW Deborah O'Neil. Archive 2018

Senator Deborah O’Neill said she felt compelled to join the Labor Party after listening to Paul Keating, following his election loss in 1996.

“I was studying for my Masters in 1996, driving back from Sydney, about to fall pregnant with our third child, when I heard Paul Keating speaking,” O’Neill said. “He had just lost the election and his speech was a farewell to his staff,” she said. His list of achievements, including the introduction of compulsory superannuation, resonated with Senator O’Neill.

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“I said ‘I am going to do it, I am going to join the Labor Party’ because what he spoke of was a vision for an equitable and fair Australia that spoke to my heart.” “The whole concept of an option for the poor is what I was brought up with, part of my Catholic education, and my Catholic inheritance from my parents, the story of the good Samaritan, that everyone is your brother or everyone is your sister. “That you need to look after one another and social policy makes a big difference to how we look after one another or we leave people by the wayside. “The worst thing I see that breaks my heart sometimes is that people need to feel that they are superior to others to feel like they are having a good life. “In my version of Australia or Labor’s version of Australia we are all better off if we all move ahead together,” she said.

Source: Video Interview, Gosford, December 13, 2018