Ten of Trev's Significant Speeches
House of Representatives on 14/09/2016
Maiden Speech - Trevor Evans MP
First of all, I am honoured to be joined by so many of my colleagues here in the chamber so late in the evening. I am sure it has more to do with the events of the last sitting week than any expectations that I will be eloquent or profound!
I first visited this parliament as a teenager on a family road trip. I remember my brothers running pretty much right across the roof of this place and rolling down the grassy slopes on the sides of the building in a way that security probably does not permit today. I don't remember being up there in the gallery, but my parents, who I am very proud to say are up there tonight, tell me that I was.
Between that visit and now, I have had many causes to reflect deeply on the achievements of our nation and our past governments. The sacrifice and the service of the men and women in this place have steered Australia through the challenges of 115 years of Federation, two world wars and countless moral trials and economic tribulations. I am humbled, but enthusiastic about having this opportunity to contribute my service to the betterment of our nation.
Australia is one of the longest continuously running democracies on earth. Our Federation was formed thoughtfully in peacetime and benefits from great foundations and traditions. We are a beacon of freedom, prosperity, diversity, justice and security in an often difficult world.
I see our nation, in some ways, as our sanctuary: an economic sanctuary, an environmental sanctuary and a sanctuary affording us safety from many of the events, illnesses and other miseries in the wider world. We should take very seriously the responsibility that comes with having the custodianship of both a nation and a continent.
I come to this place deeply connected to Australia's small business class. My family have been retailers and shopkeepers for generations, and also builders, farmers and sawmillers.
I was born in Tweed Heads in New South Wales. I was the first of my family to attend university. Before that, I am proud to have attended government schools in Mitcham, Victoria; in Elimbah near Caboolture; and in Beerwah on the Sunshine Coast.
I believe the last federal MP to be born in Tweed Heads was Neville Bonner, Australia's first Indigenous politician. He was a great Queensland politician and a constitutional conservative. I have admired his principled approach, along with how gracefully he represented the diversity of our country, as a proud Liberal. I hope to say more about Neville Bonner in the future. In the meantime, I hope I can emulate his style.