Senator Fatima Payman: "we need a humanistic and optimistic approach"

"we need a humanistic and optimistic approach"

In her first speech to the Australian Parliament, Senator Fatima Payman said:

Whilst at times and even in this very chamber, xenophobia has raised its ugly head, fear-mongering and divisive sentiments have been shared about our immigrant population, the simple truth remains that as a nation, we need a humanistic and optimistic approach, a policy which will help solve many of our skills shortages, grow our economy and strengthen our diversity and link to the world.

"I am a proud daughter of an immigrant, and there are millions more like me. In fact, this great nation of ours was built on immigration. The service of my ancestors, the Afghan cameleers, allowed us to navigate the plains of this land. They were pioneers, and I, too, will be a pioneer and walk in their footsteps to serve our nation as they did.

"As a nation, we have the potential, we have the drive and we definitely have the appetite to support, grow and nurture the future leaders to come. So let us quit the bigotry, racism and discrimination. Australia is way beyond that.

"Let us not settle on multiculturalism being just a brand we associate with or take pride in as a nation but rather fully embrace it by caring for one another, by accepting each other for who we are and what we can become, and by ensuring all voices are heard at the table.

"It is time to love, care and respect one another. It is time to unite, not break away and divide. It is time to use our diversity as our strength and seek wisdom in our differences because we all know, beneath it all, we all belong to the human race."

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