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Marching for my community


Today I marched with my community at March in March Adelaide, and was honoured to have a chance to speak. Here is my speech:

Adelaide March in March

Photo by author

Thank you to the organisers of March in March for inviting me to speak today.

If you’re wondering who I am, I’m one of you. I’m not a politician. I’m not a journalist. I’m not a lobbyist. I’m not a mining magnate. I don’t own a newspaper. I’m not an ‘insider’.

But perhaps that is a benefit. Because it’s often the people on the outside who can see best what is happening inside. And right now, all I can see in our country’s recent past is the wreckage strewn in the wake of the Tony Abbott wrecking ball. And all I can see ahead is a whole lot more trouble for the country that we all love.

So today I would like to share with you my ideas about the lessons our community need to learn to protect ourselves from this type of government in the future. This is partly a manifesto to inspire a One Term Tony scenario. But it’s also more long term than that. It’s about making sure that we don’t just react and defend against right wing ideologues and their vested interests. It’s about laying the foundations for a progressive ideas platform that will erase the very reasoning behind people’s terrible decision to vote for right wing ideologues like Tony Abbott.

So what’s this manifesto’s central theme?

Quoting a musician I greatly admire, Gurrumul: united we stand, divided we fall. Together we’ll stand, in solidarity.

That’s the crux of it. We’re all in this together.

And I think all of us here know that.

We might all have our individual outrages about the Abbott government. But what binds this passion together, what binds our values together is the understanding that Abbott is not just bad for all of us, as individuals, though he certainly is that.

No, why we’re really here is because we know he’s bad for our community. And our community is us. We know we’re in this life together.

We know the life of Reza Berati is no less important than our next door neighbour, or one of our own family. We know when any Australian loses their home, or their life from a natural disaster, we all mourn. We know that when someone at Holden loses his or her job, it damages all of us. We know that if someone we’ve never met doesn’t get the education opportunities they deserve, we all suffer. We know that when we go to work each day, or when we stay home caring for a family member, and wherever we are all over South Australia and Australia, we are building something together. That’s what makes us, us.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that even with all of us, Abbott still won the election in September. And you’re right, this is a problem. But that’s why we need to turn our attention to those who voted for Abbott. Those who have forgotten that when we say ‘us’, we mean ‘them’ as well.

If there’s one thing Abbott is good at, like a person who punches holes in walls, it is frightening people. And when people are scared they turn inward.

When they’re scared of the monsters Peta Credlin created, they turn inward. Non-existent monsters like the great. big. tax, mining companies shedding jobs, regulations, in other words, worker’s rights, which apparently ‘strangle’ enterprise and ‘corrupt’ unions. All complete nonsense. But voters believed it.

Australia turned inward when the majority of us voted for Tony Abbott. We rejected kind and compassionate when we chose to stop. the. boats. We rejected common sense when we decided the money spent saving our economy, our livelihoods from the Global Financial Crisis, was wasteful. And we rejected science when we put our fear of an increase in electricity prices ahead of our determination to slow climate change.

Abbott promised these scared, threatened and oh so gullible people that he would fix everything. That it was a good idea to be selfish and mean and greedy. To forget that they lived in a community. Dog eat dog is back in vogue. So we need to fix this.

We need to show people that when they turn their backs on their communities, they lose out, every time. We need to remind people that unemployment in industries they don’t work in is bad for them as well. Since they care so much about their electricity bills, let’s run with that and remind them how much climate change will cost our community, in money terms. This community is made up of individual thems. Let’s show people that wealth doesn’t trickle down. Let’s prove to Australians that a richer Gina Rinehart makes nobody else richer. Except perhaps Gina’s still in the will daughter who definitely won’t be giving any of her inheritance away. Abbott might believe that Holden workers are on their own now that their jobs are gone. But they’re not on their own, because they belong to our community.

No one should ever be told they’re on their own, in the bad times, or the good times.

That is why we need to remind people, in the words of US Senator Elizabeth Warren that no one in this country gets rich on their own. And then we need to remind them that the country’s wealth is something they can enjoy and something they can share, but only if they make the smart decision to support their communities, which in turn supports them.

The path to prosperity for the nation and the path to healthy communities is not individual success. It’s success for all of us. It’s really that simple. Once you understand this, once you use this idea to frame how you see the world, suddenly Abbott looks like a horrible option.

Suddenly progressive policies aren’t scary, because they represent the common good. We should be helping our fellow Australians up the ladder of social mobility. Not kicking it down and burning it as Abbott is doing now. A stronger you makes our team stronger. And our team is all of us. We’re all part of the same team.

Thank you all for standing here with me today and for standing up for your community. Let’s go forth and spread the word. Let’s remind people who have forgotten this basic idea. United we stand. Divided we fall. Together we’ll stand, in solidarity.

Rollison family March in March

Photo by author


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  1. Sandra Searle (@SandraSearle)

    Left my comment on Vic’s & was able to tweet & facebook it too. Great stuff from a very articulate lady. Well done Victoria.

  2. bobrafto

    Well done!

    I would have liked to hear the delivery, though.

  3. Susan Wills

    Brilliant, you have nailed it, it was fear that took this country off course, pure and unadulterated. And it will be courage and compassion that right it again.

  4. diannaart

    Brilliant Victoria.

    I had just watched your speech courtesy of Biggie over at the Lounge. If you would allow me the indulgence, I would like to repeat my comment here:

    “Victoria, terrific speech – great to see that you didn’t feel the need to tell your audience that humans consist of male and female (anyone who has watched the interview of Abbott conducted by a class of year nine students will understand) – we do not need leaders who believe the only way to talk to people is condescendingly, the only way to generate wealth is to benefit those who already have great wealth, the only way to manage a nation is to exploit it.

    One Term Tony.”

    To which I urge people to use the fantastic technology we now share and continue with ‘flash protests’ – many people who couldn’t or can’t attend the big marches can participate with sudden mobs of people protesting the New Authoritarianism AKA the Abbott Government.

  5. Kaye Lee

    Well done Victoria.

    Some of you may have seen the signs from Gosford Anglican Church…they are often on facebook. Father Rod spoke at the Gosford march which had about 1000 participants yesterday morning. His aim is to change the mind of the Australian people. He demands truth from the government. He also spoke well.

  6. Michael Taylor

    Just brilliant, Vic. Gutsy stuff.

  7. David Cameron

    Thank you Victoria, your speech clearly invites all Australians to work together.
    Now to spread the message as quickly & widely as we can.
    Fox news has shown a report & 9 in Adelaide says about 1,000 folk attended.

  8. Kerrianne Springford

    Great to hear you speak today, Victoria…only wish I’d been able to break through the massive crush to thank you in person…you always manage to ‘channel my thoughts’ in all that you write.

  9. Anne

    Wonderful speech. May we quote you? LOL. Thanks!

  10. johnlord2013

    Excellent speech. Well done indeed. Hope enough people share it.

  11. Royce Arriso

    Marched today in Melbourne. Sensational turnout. Maintain the rage!
    Just heard Abbott pronounce the word as ‘reNASSence’.
    (I’m from the Right/I’m proudly white/ I’m full of shite/ And I’m none too bright!)

  12. rangermike1

    Thanks Vic, All we can do is try. Your speech was brilliant, Thank You again.

  13. jasonblog


  14. CMMC

    Billy Bragg was a guest speaker at Sydney rally, SMH reports.

  15. A Source

    Sept 7, 2013 wasn’t an election, it was a coup d’état by the media and mining barons. With the extreme right wing media and mining barons now holding the nations highest office who’s gonna umpire the umpire.

  16. rangermike1

    Kaye Lee, You are right. Father Rod was exceptional, a great speech and it is a pity our Polly’s could not learn a thing or two from Him. Ahhh, Ummmm from Abbott does nothing for me.

  17. Phil

    well done !! only thing that could have topped that off is burning tony abbott , gina Rinehart and Murdoch at the stake ……. maybe next time

  18. Carol Taylor

    Well done Victoria, you can add the people here at the AIMN amongst the numbers who are exceptionally proud of you.

  19. Joe Banks

    Victoria, quoting you, “…I’m not a politician”. I think you should remedy that situation. Great speech.

  20. Goran Krivokapic

    Thank you Victoria! I was there today and the energy was absolutely amazing! Your speech set the scene and I believe that this is just the beginning. We must keep up the pressure and the momentum! Proud of Adelaide. My faith in humanity and kindness has been restored.

  21. mike daniels

    channel 9 in newcastle, ran the march a s a protest against a a local factory closure…………… mention of real reason or the other marches. the MSM strikes again !

  22. Marita Aldridge

    Awesome speech … well done !!

  23. Rhona Eastment

    Thank you Victoria, for repeating your speech here. You have articulated all that I have been agonising about, and it is so good to know that there are many thousands of other people ‘out there’ feeling exactly the same. The wonderful thing for me was to participate in the march in Cairns yesterday, around 100 ks south of where I live. As has been said, this was a perfect opportunity to gather with people of like mind and to know that you are not alone. We are at great risk up here in Far North Queensland too, as both our State and our Federal Governments want to trash our incredible environment and destroy our native animals, for the short-term economic benefit. I thank you and all at March in March for the wonderful opportunity to have our say, and to AIMN, for their publications.

  24. bobrafto

    The momentum has to keep going….

    Maybe it’s time to revisit SIT-INS.

  25. Mike Wilkinson

    You were wonderful Victoria. I wish I had had the chance to meet and thank you in person for accepting the invitation to speak. My camera and I were on the third floor balcony of the hotel across the street, and had you but raised your eyes for a moment at the end of your speech, you would have seen me clapping enthusiastically 😀 Thank you so much for coming. Mike.

  26. Gilly

    Excellent speech. Human. Real. Right.

  27. leighton8

    Very good … thanks for speaking for many of us … I will be at the one here in Canberra tomorrow ….

  28. brickbob

    Thanks Victoria for your inspiring words,and more importantly your actions, and all who marched in person or in spirit.

  29. pheonixfound

    Thanks for putting it down. Was great listening to you today. Way impressed

  30. John Kelly

    Congratulations Victoria. A huge turnout in Melbourne. You would have been a hit.

  31. teddysea

    You are an INSPIRATION! Perhaps you and Noam Chomsky could make babies. The world needs ’em. 😉

  32. jacquiabb

    And that’s what it is all about … if you want your tribe to survive you stick together and care for all; because once you break that rule of care for all, the stronger will find a way to dominate and oppress the weaker.

  33. GretchenG

    The MIM was more powerful because it wasn’t affiliated with a political party. If it had been then Tony Abblott would have run it down as Labor scaremongering. Instead, he disingenuously chose to deny any knowledge of MIM, making himself look either ignorant and stupid, or showing that he has no compunction about lying to the Australian people.
    I guess if he were to acknowledge the Marches around Australia then it would make his “mandate for the people” line obsolete.

  34. hilderombout

    Thank you Victoria, You certainly speak for me!!! I could not march and wished with all my heart that i could have been there. Thanks again. A great speech that i fully endorse and which mirrors my own thoughts, but which you expressed much better.

  35. Hotspringer

    Thank you, Victoria.

  36. Stephen Tardrew

    Thanks Victoria brings a smile to the dial and a throb to the heart of justice.

  37. Paul Raymond Scahill

    We live about 350kms from Brisbane, so although our hearts and soul were with you all, our physical prescence was not. We have read your speech and agree with it wholeheartedly and just hope that it helps to unite Australians and those that wish to be against the evil that appears to be Abbott, Rineheart and Murdoch back to the sewers from which they have been allowed respite from. I dont think there is a more despicable trio in this entire world. If there be such a place as HELL I feel sure that is where they reside.

  38. A Source

    On Four Corners tonight March 17, Marian Wilkinson investigates the intelligence operation that’s caused friction in Australia’s relationship with East Timor.
    Late last year the office of Canberra lawyer Bernard Collaery was raided by agents from ASIO and the Federal Police.

    They were looking for documents that linked his client, a former top Australian spy, to disclosures that Australia had bugged East Timor’s Prime Minister and his advisors during crucial treaty talks a decade ago. Those talks resulted in a treaty that carved up billions of dollars worth of oil and gas reserves in the Timor Sea.

    Now both the lawyer and former spy are threatened with criminal charges for breaching national security laws. > > ASIO and the LNP have taken insider trading to a new low in regard to East Timor. >>; Former Defence Force chief Peter Cosgrove and Alexander Downer get their reward for helping the LNP and ASIO rip off East Timor: Downer became an advisor to Woodside Petroleum after authorising spying on East Timor when he was foreign minister in the Howard Government and Cosgrove has been given the job of governor-general .

    An individual who is found guilty of the criminal offence of insider trading in Australia is subject to a maximum fine of $450,000 and/or ten years imprisonment. >> Jan 20 (Reuters) – East Timor demanded on Monday that Australia return seized documents relating to the two countries’ negotiations over oil and gas reserves thought to be worth tens of billions of dollars.

    The dispute brought before the United Nations’ top court pits one of Asia’s poorest countries against its wealthy giant neighbour, Australia, in a case involving spy agencies, bugging allegations, snatched documents and potentially huge rewards from developing oil and gas fields.

    The hearings at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Hague, in a case brought by East Timor against Australia, concern seized documents allegedly showing how Australia may have used intelligence to outmanoeuvre East Timor in talks over the Greater Sunrise oil and gas fields.

    East Timor wants the ICJ to order the return of documents and other material which was seized during raids by Australia’s domestic spy agency on the Canberra offices of a lawyer representing East Timor over Australian bugging claims and an unnamed former spy-turned-whistleblower

  39. A Source

    The Daily Beast, where freedom of speech is protected and comment is free and welcome, plus no Murdoch or Rinehart/Fairfax censor police. >

  40. A Source

    Greenland Is Literally Melting

    A new study suggests that three glaciers that are responsible for retaining a major ice stream in Greenland are melting faster than they were originally believed to be, and they are moving rapidly into the sea. Published in Nature Climate Change today, the study indicates that sea levels need to be revised and that the northeast corner of Greenland, which is one of the coldest and driest parts of the world, is not, in fact, stable. “This is the first time anyone has ever observed a sudden acceleration of ice loss in the downhill (outlet) portions of a really long ice stream. So, we are in terra incognita,” said study coauthor Michael Bevis of Ohio State University.”The instability of Greenland is growing.”

  41. A Source

    The Climate itself is now the climate scientists and Julia Gillard’s greatest advocate; > With the real-world effects of climate change constantly becoming more difficult to deny, this is not a sustainable situation. Eventually reality must break in, and there are signs that this is beginning to happen.>Murdoch news corp and Rinehart/ , found to be a major driving force behind global warming denial
    Read more:-

  42. A Source

    The Abbott Government hands out more jobs to the Howard mafia, with Alexander Downer being appointed London High Commissioner and Nick Minchin off to New York. Barry Everingham reports.

    THE DECISION of the Abbott Government to appoint former foreign minister Alexander ‘Dolly’ Downer to the plum diplomatic post of High Commissioner in London is as absurd as it outrageous (though not unexpected here at IA, where we signalled the Abbott Government’s intentions back in December).

    Indeed it is parallel to Gough Whitlam’s appointment of Senator Vince Gair to Dublin — at least Gough wanted Vince out of the Senate in the dying days of his Government, but Abbott’s reasoning is bizarre. >.,6182

  43. doctorrob54

    Reblogged this on doctorrob54 and commented:
    Why are not the masses listening,Victoria does such good work.

  44. moresun

    What she said – EXACTLY!
    Want to know the point of March in March?
    Victoria thought it through thoroughly.
    So grateful I have been able to listen to so many inspiring views expressed by young people as a result of this march. You are a wonderful leader amongst them Victoria and I will now be reading your blog.

  45. John Oram

    Not practical at all ! All based on emotions, Typical of a person unable to perceive the disaster facing the country if !! Tony doesnt cut spending and do it now.Its all Labours fault < dont blame the new government,Theyre trying to fix it so we dont end up in an even worse situation in a few years time.Then you are going to cry.

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