FISCHER, TIM – First Speech, 2 September 1997

Madam President, there are few good things written about politicians but many challenges issued to us. The great Australian writer Patrick White issued this challenge in his poem Nine thoughts from Sydney 1970…
Where is the politician who will flower like the leptospermum citrata,
Who will sound like the surf out of the Antarctic.
Who has in his hands the knots of coolibah,
And in his soul the tears of migrants landing from Piraeus?
If we, as members of parliament, bear the sentiments of this challenge in mind in our words and our deeds, then I for one believe we will better earn the respect of our communities and perhaps ignite in young Australians a flame of faith in their parliamentary system and their parliamentary representatives. That for me is a challenge worth meeting.

FISCHER, TIM - First Speech, 2 September 1997