John Howard, Australian Prime Minister 1996-2007, delivered his Liberal Party election campaign launch speech in a post-September 11 world. It included tough language on national security and border protection.
His statements were aimed particularly at asylum seekers arriving on boats in Australian waters – at this time Australia was refusing the Norwegian freighter Tampa permission to deposit rescued asylum seeks on Australian soil.
Watch this video with a transcript.
What was your response to John Howard’s election speech? Did you agree with Howard’s tough stance on border security? Did it impact on how you felt as an Australian citizen?
I suspect it's people like me John Howard means when he says ‘we decide who comes here’ but I don't want to be part of his 'we'. I side with the ones who admit that harm was done, is being done, and would like to make things better. At least to try. Jenny Sinclair, Melbourne, 2006
As a nation we should be able to choose who we want to come here. Let’s bring in educated people with a similar culture to ours, people who will work hard and fit in to our society rather than these people who don't speak English and don't want to assimilate. Peter Ling, Manly, 2008
To share your response use the Comments Box at the bottom of this page. Selected written responses will be shown on our website and may be chosen to be shown in the exhibition.