Date
E.g., 20 Jan 2015
End date
Date
E.g., 20 Jan 2015

REMARKS AT THE NATIONAL INDIGENOUS CULINARY INSTITUTE GRADUATION CEREMONY, SYDNEY

19 January 2015
Sydney
Prime Minister
E&OE
Cain, thank you very much indeed. It’s really lovely to be here and I can think of no better way to begin the 2015 working year than to be at this event which acknowledges young indigenous people who are having a go and which celebrates good food, great restaurants and the best of times.

It’s often said that food keeps body and soul together and that’s so true. Food does keep body and soul together. And that expression indicates does it not that food is not just about sustaining our mortal bodies, but it’s about lifting our immortal souls because so often, the best times in life – our comradeship, our families, our achievements – are celebrated with food.

So, these graduates from the National Indigenous Culinary Institute are not just learning to be cooks, they are learning in their own way to be artists.

Now we Australians have many fine characteristics. We like to think that as Australians, we want to have a go ourselves and we want to ensure that we and our countrymen deliver to every other Australian a fair go. This idea that we have a go, this idea that we create a country that gives everyone a fair go is very much at the heart of what it means to be an Australian. And both of these characteristics of ours are embodied in this programme in this graduation which we attend today.

I want to thank everyone involved with the National Indigenous Culinary Institute for ensuring that young indigenous people get the fair go they deserve.

You are not just people who want to do the right thing – although obviously that’s what you’re doing – but you are people who, in the food and hospitality sector, are doing great things.

Bill gave us a roll call of some of the people who are behind this institute – the great chefs of our country – the finest restaurants of our country. And to see our best people doing the right thing in this way is very, very encouraging indeed.

The other thing that’s so encouraging is to see fine young indigenous people having a go – making the most of your lives. All of us are meant for something. The challenge is to find what that is and then to grasp it with both hands. And you obviously have seen an opportunity, you’ve seen something that engaged you, heart and mind and soul and you’ve had a go and I want to say how thrilling that is and how proud I am of all of you.

I want to finish with this quote from one of the graduates today, the youngest graduate in fact, Ashleigh who said “if you put your mind to it and have a dream, you can get anywhere in your life.” Well Ashleigh thank you for putting so simply something which is so important for all of us. If you put your mind to it and have a dream, you can get anywhere in your life.

Now that doesn’t mean that it’s easy because you can put your mind to things and you can have a dream – an uplifting and enabling dream – and it’s not always easy to realise that dream, but if you have a go, it’s amazing what you can achieve and that’s exactly what you and all of your colleagues have done today.

So, thank you to everyone involved in this marvellous occasion. Thank you in particular to the seven young Australians who have done so much and made the rest of us feel so proud.

Thank you so much.