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Some things transcend politics and policy and the lust for power. Truth, honesty, integrity, decency and fairness are immutable values. They are the ethical substance of life. They ought to be cherished. To sell them out is to sell one’s soul.

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Perhaps the most reliable route to meaning and joy, to plunging below the surface and seeking more than the superficiality of material ambition, is connection with people, places, ideas and issues. Of these, the most important are people and relationships. And the most reliable route to relationships is conversation.

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When was the last time you heard an insightful, inspiring piece of oratory from an Australian political leader, an appeal to what is pure and true within humanity: a statement of belief backed by ideas for change betterment, a call to those immutable values wherein lie the potential greatness of people individually and collectively? Such exhortation, such leadership is lamentably scarce.