10 telling quotes from former PM Malcolm Fraser, who died this morning

Former PM Malcolm Fraser looking pensive in 1978. Photo: Getty Images

Australia’s 22nd prime minister Malcolm Fraser has passed away at the age of 84.

The former Liberal leader was elected PM in 1975 and held onto the position until he was defeated by popular Labor leader Bob Hawke in 1983.

He quit the Liberal Party in 2010 but has always remained an outspoken individual, constantly fighting for the rights of others.

He helped to fight the scourge of apartheid in South Africa, constantly pursued the interests of Indigenous Australians and assisted the passage of the Human Rights Act in 1981.

Here are 10 of the most inspirational quotes Fraser delivered during his lifetime:

“Reconciliation requires changes of heart and spirit, as well as social and economic change. It requires symbolic as well as practical action.”

– Speaking at the Great Hall of Parliament on National Sorry Day 2003.

“If there were six [Nelson] Mandelas around today, a couple in Europe, one in America and in a couple of other places, there wouldn’t be any wars.”

– During an interview with political scientist Professor Robyn Eckersley in 2011.

At Margaret Whitlam’s memorial service in 2012. Photo: Getty Images

“Life wasn’t meant to be easy.”

– During his Alfred Deakin lecture speech in 1971. A nod to George Bernard Shaw.

“We used to have a view that to really be a good Australian, to love Australia, you almost had to cut your links with the country of origin. But I don’t think that was right and it never was right.”

– At the opening of the Special Broadcasting Service in 1980.

Sheltering his wife Tamie with an umbrella at their home in South Yarra in 1975. Photo: Getty Images

“By the year 2020 therefore, we could look to Australia playing an increasing role in east Asian and regional affairs. If our policies were successful we would see enhanced cooperation between all the countries of the region. We would see the region taking greater charge of its economic future, with an Asian Monetary Fund working to support stability and financial viability. There would be a Political Forum where leaders of east and south-east Asian countries would meet each year to discuss matters of regional concern – an outcome which is long overdue. We could also expect that security between countries in and around the region would be re-enforced because of enhanced respect and increased cooperation amongst member states. We would see a significantly reduced role for the United States in and around the region and a greater reliance on east and south-east Asian relationships.”

– Speaking to the Ethnic Community Council of Victoria in 1999.

“I believe there is a special obligation on Australians who have come or whose parents have come here in the post-war years, to work for and maintain that Australia, because that is the Australia they came to, that is the Australia that has received them so warmly and that is the Australia to which they have already contributed so much in so many different ways.”

– During his Australian Refugee Association Oration at Adelaide in 2011.

The former PM shoots pool at the West Australian Italian Club in 1977. Photo: Getty Images

“Development requires modification and transformation of the environment… the planet’s capacity to support its people is being irreversibly reduced by the destruction and degradation of the biosphere and the need to understand the problem and take corrective action is becoming urgent.”

– During a memorable speech on conservation in 1980.

“Secrecy is completely inadequate for democracy but totally appropriate for tyranny.”

– Extract from an article written for the Sydney Morning Herald on asylum seekers in 2014.

Malcolm Turnbull and his wife Tamie at a Red Cross gala in 2005. Photo: Getty Images

“Flexibility in pursuit of the nation’s interests must never be allowed to degenerate into expediency.”

– During a speech given at a civic reception in Sydney in 1976.

“Multiculturalism speaks to us forcefully and directly about a range of fundamental issues of relevance to all Australians. It is not an abstract or alien notion, not a blueprint holding out Utopian promises, but a set of guidelines for action which grows directly out of our society’s aspirations and experiences. That is why multiculturalism has so quickly entered our political and social vocabulary and become a central reference point.”

– During his inaugural address to the Institute of Multicultural Affairs in 1981.

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