This week I had the privilege of addressing the Alliance for Responsible Citizenship (ARC) Conference in London.
ARC was founded by Jordan Peterson and our own former National Party Deputy Prime Minister, John Anderson, among others and is a chance to build a future where “empowered citizens take responsibility and work together to bring flourishing and prosperity to their homes, communities, and beyond.”
In front of 1500 conference attendees, I spoke about the recent referendum and the importance of moving on from victimhood and blame towards being a more unified country.
A country where people as individuals can contribute to something bigger than themselves.
That’s really a big part of the message from the referendum result.
Australians understand that treating Indigenous people – or indeed any group of people – as a single block and not as individual people does nothing to address disadvantage.
I told the conference:
Being told that I’m a victim because of my racial heritage, and for those who are our most marginalised being told they are victims of their racial heritage, of our country’s history, because of colonisation, effectively meant our agency had been removed and that somehow it was the responsibility of white Australia to empower us, to empower us through our constitution, that in fact government is supposed to improve our lives…
The Yes campaign tried to use emotional blackmail, tried to teach everyday Australians that we belong to a racist country, tried to teach our children that they shouldn’t be proud to call themselves Australian, tried to suggest that if you are voting No that you belong to the wrong side of history.
Well, we showed them otherwise.
This is what ARC is about too; focusing on empowering people and moving past identity categories. It’s about ending the obsession with academic debates about structures and historical injustices at the expense of actually helping people.
I concluded my speech with this:
The way forward from here is no more separatism, is no more dividing us along the lines of race, is no more political correctness, is no more identity politics.
It’s about recognising our capabilities as human beings, recognising that we all have agency, recognising that we don’t need another to empower us, we can do that ourselves and we can do that very well.
That is the way forward. That is the better story
It’s a message I was honoured to share at such an important event, and it’s one I endeavour to live out and advocate for here in our own country too.