I am extremely proud of all Australians who pull a uniform on for Australia. I am proud of their service and of their dedication to keeping Australia and Australians safe. I am proud of their loyalty to our country and its values.
Those values determine how we deal with difficult issues as a country and difficult issues as those that have arisen in the Inspector General’s report on the Australian Defence Force.
Australia’s transparent and honest way of dealing with this issue is a credit to this nation and a credit to all those who serve this nation in uniform.
Where there are alleged events that have taken place that require action, well we have set up the honest and transparent processes for that to take place. That is what a free, democratic, liberal country does.
Australia will continue to remain true to our values and the protection of our own sovereignty. This is in our national interests.
The post of a false image of an Australian soldier does not diminish our respect for and appreciation of our Chinese Australian community or indeed our friendship with the people of China.
We acknowledge and greatly appreciate and value the contribution that generations of Chinese migrants have made to Australia.
Migrants from China have been arriving in Australia for more than two hundred years and Australians of Chinese background have added immensely to our nation.
Australia has greatly benefited from the contribution made by people in Australia of Chinese ancestry, many of whom have distinguished themselves in all walks of life, including business, medicine, education, the creative arts, and politics.
It was Chinese Australians in particular who provided one of the greatest defences to the COVID-19 pandemic we had in those early weeks.
They were the ones who first went into self-isolation, they were the ones who were returning from family visits to China and they were coming home and it was through their care, commitment and patience that actually Australia was protected in that first wave. Australians are very grateful for that.
We are pleased to welcome the first group of international students who have returned to Australia this week under the Northern Territory International Students Pilot. The students are from countries including China. These students will embark on the mandatory 14-day quarantine period before embarking on their studies and we wish them well.
Our Chinese Australian community will continue to play an important role in ensuring we remain a successful, multicultural nation.