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Tony Abbott: ‘Australia Day is a day for everyone’

The Prime Minister is facing pushback over a controversial proposal for a special day to honour indigenous Australians.

Scott Morrison says it’s worth having a discussion to mark 60,000 years of indigenous history on a day separate to Australia Day on January 26th.

Special envoy on indigenous affairs Tony Abbott tells John Stanley “he would hold judgement on any alternative national day for indigenous people”.

“I thought his defence of Australia Day was wonderful.

“I thought his attack on those leftie, greenie, guilt-ridden councils that somehow think Australia Day is a day of shame, rather than a day of pride was excellent.

“I think the emphasis, and I’m sure this would be the Prime Minister’s emphasis, is on all pulling together on Australia Day.

“There are acknowledgments for country in all sorts of very important contexts these days.

“But Australia Day is a day for everyone.

“Australia is a country with an indigenous heritage, a British foundation and a migrant character.”

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview 

The former prime minister has also made his first official visit in his new role to Warruwi School on the Northern Territory’s Goulburn Islands.

A community of about 500 people, Mr Abbott is focusing exclusively on keeping children in remote communities in school.

“We’re talking about kids from households that don’t necessarily have a lot of social capital in English. They weren’t necessarily read to as infants by their parents,” he tells John Stanely.

“So structure, discipline, repetition and I guess that sense of mastery that comes when you actually start to get things right, that’s really, really important in these schools.”