FRANCES AND BRIDGET ABBOTT
ADDRESS TO THE 2013 FEDERAL COALITION CAMPAIGN LAUNCH
25 AUGUST 2013
Good afternoon, I’m Bridget
And I’m Frances.
Today we want to tell you about our Dad – Tony Abbott
For us, he’s not just the guy on TV, he’s the man, along with our Mum, who has helped us to become the women we are today.
Like all Dads, our Dad knows when to embarrass us. Well today, I guess we get our chance.
We want to tell a few things about our Dad that you don’t know.
Our Dad is not just a politician, not just a Rhodes Scholar, or an author, not just a volunteer fire-fighter or a lifesaver. Not just a husband and a father, he’s something else as well – Tony Abbott is also a “netball Dad”.
Growing up, Bridget, Louise and I all played netball. Every Saturday morning we’d make the trip down to the Curl Curl Netball Courts for each of our games. Dad was, as you might expect, the most vocal supporter.
He thought that netball was just a different form of rugby.
We all played for our local club, Forest Netball, and Dad could always be heard from the side lines, if not hundreds of metres away, calling “Run Forest, Run”.
He always thought it was funny.
His “Dad joke” week in and week out.
For a man who has never put on a netball skirt, Dad was always giving us netballing advice – it was only until a few years ago that I realised that the advice he gave was more about life rather than just the sport.
He said - you must give it everything you’ve got, play as a team, watch out for each other, look ahead, stay focused, enjoy yourself, always get back up, and don’t forget to shake hands.
My Dad looks for out for everyone, and I know he will look out for you.
When we were growing up, Mum and Dad worked hard to shelter us from the harsh world of politics.
Home was very much a politics-free zone.
I have to admit, when Dad first raised the idea of running for the leadership with the family, we were very hesitant in our encouragement.
We didn’t think he should because we weren’t that confident he would make it - he’s our Dad and we didn’t want him disappointed or discouraged.
Families watch out for each other and ours is no different.
But Dad said when you really believe in something, you have to back yourself until the end.
And so he did.
He says that politics isn’t about the politician, it’s about the people you help.
That’s why he’s a volunteer life saver and fire fighter, and why he has raised thousands of dollars for the Manly Women’s Shelter.
It’s also why he tries to work with indigenous communities each and every year.
You have to get out there and have a go – just as he’s always done – and that’s why we are so proud of him.
I’ve seen my Dad with people from all walks of life – young, old, rich, poor, gay, straight, the frail, the fit, indigenous and migrant – and he treats every single one of them with equal respect.
He’s also a listener – he doesn’t think he’s smarter than you – but knows that he can learn from what you bring to the table.
My Dad doesn’t judge, but asks questions and listens.
That’s the type of Dad he is for us – and if elected, I know that’s the type of Prime Minister he will be for Australia.
So, ladies and gentlemen, will you please join me in welcoming the man who may be the next Prime Minister of Australia, the man who is the Leader of the Opposition, but most importantly, the man who is our Dad, Tony Abbott.