Vale Malcolm Fraser: a giant and a visionary

The sad passing of Malcolm Fraser has provided an opportunity for much reflection and soul searching in Australian politics this past week.

There is no doubt he was a giant of a man, who over the course of his life had been both celebrated and criticised by almost the entire breadth of the political spectrum. The Prime Minister summed up the mood in Parliament last week in his condolence motion when he stated “Our challenge is not to say goodbye; it is to be more magnanimous in his death than we were in his life and to acknowledge this giant, who was surely one of us.”

In a speech in 1981, he made points that ring just as true today. “Multiculturalism is about diversity, not division – it is about inclusion, not isolation.” In the same speech Fraser also pointed out that “it is perhaps the greatest failure of all to be blinded to real possibilities by myth and prejudices.”

I haven’t just seen the possibilities, but the real results in my electorate of Reid and across Western Sydney. I’d encourage all Australians to open their eyes to these possibilities as well.