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Subject: Immigration »


Is Australia a multicultural society?

Bill Clinton.

Bill Clinton, speaks on Australia and immigrants.


21 November 1996

Date Added:

17 July 2002


Speech at Sydney’s Botanical Gardens, 21 November 1996.


mov (Quicktime);

File size:



35 secs


United States President

Australia has a higher percentage of immigrants who came here and built decent lives and strengthened your country through hard work than almost any other country on Earth.

When you drive down the streets of Sydney tonight and you look at all these different people making a contribution to your country, think with sadness, but prayerful hope about all the people who live around the world who are still being persecuted because they are different from their neighbours, because they have different religious views or they’re from different racial or ethnic or tribal groups...


Think about how every day in every way, when you bring in people who are those like me who trace their roots to England or Ireland or Scotland, to various Asian countries or South Asia or Latin America or the Middle East or Africa - every day you do that when the world is looking at you, you offer a rebuke to all those who would take away the lives and the futures and the fortunes of children of this world because they are different from them.

We somehow must find a way to let our children define themselves in terms of who they are, not who they are not; in terms of what they believe, not what someone else believes; in terms of what is good inside them and what can be developed into something really beautiful, instead of what can be developed in terms of hatred, so they can know they’re better than somebody else who’s different from them. That is the single great challenge that is keeping us from making the 21st century the era of greatest possibility in human history. And I cannot think of a better place in the entire world, a more shining example of how people can come together as one nation and one community than Sydney, Australia.

From a speech at Sydney’s Botanical Gardens, 21 November 1996.