Pauline Hanson's 1996 maiden speech

This speech by Pauline Hanson, Independent member for Oxley Queensland, caused a political, media and public sensation. Pauline Hanson later became leader of the One Nation Party, 1997-2004.

The speech engendered both support and outrage for her statements about migrants, multiculturalism, Aboriginal Australians and national identity. It raised questions about notions of political correctness, what it means to be Australian and wedge politics.

Watch this video with a transcript.

What did you think of Pauline Hanson’s speech? How did it make you feel as a Indigenous Australian or a recent migrant? Do you agree with some of her thoughts?

It is a pity that more of Pauline Hanson’s views have not been incorporated into mainstream Australian politics. -- Maurie Pegrum, 2006

Pauline Hanson's speech makes me feel so ashamed and disgusted at how ignorant and unintelligent she, and other Australian's who support her, are. There is blatant hypocrisy in her statement 'I should be allowed to choose who comes into my country'... did the Aboriginal Australians she so vehemently berates have this choice?!! -- Jess Pike, 2010

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.

Comments (6)

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Janelle Evans 12 May, 2011 15:09
Unfortunately this attitude is shared by many Anglo-Celtic Australians who deny the violence of colonial settler history in this country. They deny that Aboriginal people have been dispossessed of their land and the associated trauma which still affects the lives of many today. While it is true that the agricultural and industrial industries in Australia were forged by the hard work of early settler families, Ms Hanson also denies the many Aboriginal, Chinese, Lebanese, Italian and Greek families who also contributed to the growth of this country. We are a free and compassionate people. We believe in equality for all and the right to a 'fair go'. We have no room in this country for such appalling racism.
Dave 1 June, 2011 17:17
"...something that happened over 200 years ago..." That line really gets to me, because colonisation is a living breathing thing for most people in the world...
D. M. Kumarasinghe 2 May, 2013 21:45
I believe that Pauline Hanson is just a racist band-waggon, whose words does not represent the mejority of Australians' view.
Gunay 1 June, 2013 19:40
She just showed how much ignorant can some people be in this country. She is a symbol of fascism in Australia.Fascism always ends up in self destruction.
Anonymous 13 June, 2013 17:30
What a disgrace! Rude, ignorant and arrogant. If you are tired of being reminded of "something which happened 200 years ago" - how do you think indigenous people feel having to hear your self interested complaints over and over again - when they continue to be persecuted by racists like you to this day?!
Pauline Pantsdown 13 May, 2014 20:49
I don't like it. Please Explain
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I confront prejudice by speaking up when intolerance and discrimination are exhibited by others who should know better.

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