ANTHONY ALBANESE – TRANSCRIPT – RADIO INTERVIEW – TASMANIA TALKS WITH AARON STEVENS – TUESDAY, 1 DECEMBER 2020
ANTHONY ALBANESE MP
LEADER OF THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY
MEMBER FOR GRAYNDLER
TASMANIA TALKS WITH AARON STEVENS
TUESDAY, 1 DECEMBER 2020
SUBJECT: Investiture ceremony for Teddy Sheean VC.
AARON STEVENS, HOST: The Federal Labor Leader, Anthony Albanese, joins us this morning ahead of the ceremony this morning. Thank you so much for your time.
ANTHONY ALBANESE, LEADER OF THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY: Good morning, Aaron. I’m joining you literally from Yarralumla.
STEVENS: So, tell me what’s happening around you now?
ALBANESE: Well, what will be happening is that people are just entering, there are security arrangements, of course, for what will be a very solemn but, I think, a celebratory event of the achievements of Ordinary Seaman Teddy Sheean. A VC being awarded is a great credit to the persistence of his family and all your listeners. Tasmanians campaigned very strongly for it, a day of solemn pride for all of us who are there, for the Royal Australian Navy and the entire Australian Defence Force, but for all Australians.
STEVENS: And you said it, Tasmania was part of a massive campaign, and well done again to the family for their long campaign for this. But as we’ve spoken about it, it was only after the Prime Minister came out earlier this year and said, ‘No, won’t be happening’, that all of a sudden there was a groundswell that encapsulated the entire country.
ALBANESE: Well, absolutely. And the Prime Minister has never explained why he and his Government said no to something that was so obvious. It’s quite extraordinary the decision of this young man to go, like five of his own brothers, to World War Two to defend our country, but his experience of being already wounded, the planes coming in to the HMAS Armidale which was sinking, his mates in the water, and he’s making the decision to strap himself to a gun. He wasn’t a gunner, but he was strapping himself to it in order to literally become a human shield, extended over his mates in the water. This was an extraordinary act of bravery. There was nothing ordinary about his actions. And it is just terrific that the outcome has come through today.
STEVENS: As I think you’ve said in the past, it took a review of the review of the review to get there, but we got there in the end.
ALBANESE: It was a waste of taxpayers’ money to have a review of the review the review. And the independent body decided, quite rightly, when they looked at the evidence that he was very much worthy of this VC.
STEVENS: Don’t you just admire the determination of Garry Ivory and his family?
ALBANESE: I do. And I spoke to Garry personally while this was happening. And Garry, I think it’ll be a very proud day for him and his family and for all Australians today.
STEVENS: So, how close are we to that ceremony?
ALBANESE: Now I’m on the lawns at Yarralumla. And I’m literally arriving now. So, I will have to depart. It’s quite a beautiful day here in Canberra for what is a wonderful ceremony.
STEVENS: Just before you go, one last comment. If ever we needed a hero in 2020, this is the moment we needed.
ALBANESE: We do need heroes in 2020. And Teddy Sheean, I can’t think of a more deserving hero than him to be honoured today. And I’m just very proud and humbled as someone who hasn’t served their country in uniform to be with the men and women today and with all Australian Defence Force personnel at this wonderful commemoration.
STEVENS: Great to talk to you as you go into that ceremony. Thanks for your time.
ALBANESE: Thank you very much.