Prime Minister Anthony Albanese

White House Arrival Ceremony Address

delivered 25 October 2023, Washington, D.C.

Audio mp3 of Address    Audio AR-XE mp3 of Address


[AUTHENTICITY CERTIFIED: Text version below transcribed directly from audio]

President Biden, First Lady Dr. Biden:

Firstly, thank you for the great honor of this invitation and the wonderful warmth of your welcome, including the wonderful dinner we had in the White House last night.

President Biden, Prime Minister Albanese, and Prime Minister Sunak deliver remarks at a meeting of the AUKUS trilateral security alliance on 13 March 2023, Point Loma Naval Base, San Diego, California. Photo credit/Copyright status: The White House/Public domain.

Mr. President, when you and I stood together in San Diego in March, the USS Sterett and the USS Missouri behind us, we were surrounded by the examples of America’s power.

To stand with you here in Washington, D.C., is to witness the power of America’s example: the ideas and ideals that your great democracy was built on; the self-evident truths that every American generation strives to give deeper meaning, and the peace and freedom that America seeks to defend around the globe; the principle that every country, large and small, should be able to seek to shape its own destiny and secure its own future, where the sovereignty of every nation is respected and the dignity and liberty of every individual is recognized; where peace is secured not by fear of force or strength of arms alone, but through the collective commitment and the shared responsibility of the international community.

This is at the heart of our alliance, the soul of our partnership; not a pact against a common enemy, a pledge to a common cause; a shared belief that freedom, peace, and equality are not just American ideals or Australian values. They belong to all humankind.

That is why Ukrainian soldiers are driving Australian-made Bushmasters as they drive back an illegal and immoral invasion. And it is why all Australians condemn the atrocities, terror, and pitiless brutality of Hamas.

And, Mr. President, we applaud the personal resolve you have brought to this troubled part of the world. You have spoken with moral clarity. And you have stood up for a simple principle: the principle that every innocent life matters -- Israeli and Palestinian -- and that in every conflict, every effort must be made to protect civilians.

American leadership is indispensable, but it is not inevitable. It takes a leader to deliver it. It takes wisdom to show empathy, courage to provide humanitarian assistance, and true leadership to seek peace. Because protecting innocent people is not a show of weakness, it is a measure of strength.

Mr. President, our nations’ steadfast alliance has grown and thrived through 15 of my predecessors and 13 of yours. In Australian public life, it meets the number-one measure of a great idea: Both political parties try and claim credit for it. But it is not, and it has never been, the leaders at this podium who determine the strength and success of our alliance. It is the people we serve.

Presidents and Prime Ministers can praise our countries’ shared values. We can sign agreements to advance our common interests. But it is our citizens who make the words a bond. It is our people whose courage and ambition, hard work and aspiration, give life and weight to always share and always strive for.

Sometimes, we occasionally refer to “average Americans” or “everyday Australians,” but what they do every day is anything but average.

It is our people making the breakthroughs that are seeing Australia and the United States cooperate in new technology like never before.

From quantum computing and medical science, to agriculture and defense, it’s our people driving unprecedented collaboration in our creative industries, in art and film and music, from Barbie to Bluey.

It is our people partnering to unlock the possibilities of clean energy and critical minerals, the third pillar -- the new pillar of our alliance -- a plan for both our nations to seize the transformative economic opportunities of clean energy and a plan to help every nation meet the global challenge of climate change.

It is our people who will train together, side by side, to service the next generation of our submarines and defense technology.

And it is our people that we honor when we remember the generations of Australians and Americans who have fought and fallen together -- our veterans and all those who have given the cause of peace their last full measure of devotion.1

And, Mr. President, in reflecting on this century of service, I’m reminded of a sentiment that you have shared before from an American soldier talking about his time in Iraq. And that sentiment was this, “You know when there’s an Australian with you. They’ll always have your back.” A generous thought from a man of courage and character: Major Beau Biden.

Mr. President, you have known far more than life’s ordinary share of loss and grief, and you have been called to serve at a time when sadness and strife have cast a long shadow on our world. You understand that the task for all of us is to draw on the strength that hope instills, to look to the future not just with optimism for better days but with the determination to build a better world.

And while we do indeed face testing times, our friendship is tried and tested. Our people are up for the challenge. Our alliance has been shaped by history, and it is ready to shape the future. So, with optimism and with determination, let us pledge to make this is a time when hope and history rhyme.

Let us write the next chapter in our alliance together.

I thank you, Mr. President.

1 Allusion to Lincoln's Gettysburg Address

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Origional Image #2 Source: DVIDShub Screenshot

Text Note: Supplemental transcription work by  Michael E. Eidenmuller

Audio Note: AR-XE = American Rhetoric Extreme Enhancement

Video Note: The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.

Page Updated: 11/12/23

U.S. Copyright Status: Text = Uncertain. Audio and Video = Property of Images = Public domain. Video = Used in compliance with these terms.

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