NSW’s Minister Citizenship and Communities has questioned his conviction that Australia is the “greatest country on earth” after reports of gang rape and paedophilia this week.
Addressing the NSW Premier’s Multicultural Media Awards last night, minister Victor Dominello called for continued scrutiny into issues like domestic violence and child abuse.
Dominello referred to the gang rape of a 14-year-old girl in Doonside, Western Sydney, and the marriage of a 12-year-old girl to a 26-year-old man in Hunter Valley, NSW in his speech.
Here’s what he said:
Today I actually speak to you with a heavy heart. Some of you may have known that I was overseas for a few days – I was actually in India, one of my favourite countries on earth for a number of reasons.
When I was in India, I heard reports of what was taking place back home. I heard about the gang rape of the 14-year-old girl and I heard about the marriage of that 12-year-old girl to a 26-year-old man.
And I thought: ‘What type of country are we living in? Where are we going?’
I don’t want us to think that these are recent events; let’s not have amnesia about this. In 1986, Anita Cobby was gang raped by names that included Travers, Murphy, Murdoch. We are currently having a royal commission into the responses by institutions into paedophilia.
What type of country are we living in?
I really used to think that we lived in the greatest country on earth. But when I read all these stories when I was in India, I shed a tear – more than one – because I realised we’ve got a long way to go on so many issues.
What is it that happens in our communities, that happens in our families, that some of our boys don’t grow up to be men – they grow up to be monsters?
We need to create a society where boys grow up to be gentlemen, where boys grow up to defend women, to protect women, rather than raise a hand against women.
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