It is an honour to have today been endorsed as the 21st Leader of the Australian Labor Party.
I am incredibly grateful for the support I have received from Party members, my Caucus colleagues and the broader Australian community.
On behalf of our Party, I extend our sincere thanks to Bill Shorten for his leadership over the past six years. No one could have worked harder for the election of a Labor Government than Bill.
I also thank the many tens of thousands of True Believers who campaigned tirelessly over many months leading up to the election. I’m sorry that we didn’t get the result we were hoping for.
It’s too easy to jump to conclusions after a defeat like this. We owe it to ourselves and our supporters to properly diagnose what went wrong.
Over coming weeks and months I will travel around our great nation to listen to our fellow Australians about why they found Labor wanting, and how we can win their support in the lead-up to the 2022 election.
As Federal Labor Leader, I also need your feedback. I look forward to seeking out many of you in person to get your insights.
This is no time for despair. It is a time for unity, focus and determination. We must learn from the result, take the fight up to the Morrison Government and win next time.
I’m optimistic about Labor’s prospects. We have an experienced, united and talented team and we face a government without an agenda, short of frontbench talent and already showing signs of arrogance and hubris.
As for me, I’m up for the fight.
I grew up in council housing in Sydney, the son of a single mother dependent on an invalid pension. I know what it is like to do it tough.
I also know that Labor governs for all Australians, offering support, opportunity and, above all, hope.
Great Labor Governments changed my life and transformed the community around me.
Australia needs a Labor Government to keep offering hope. Let’s work together to build one.
Yours in Solidarity,