I congratulate Julia on her strong win today. The Caucus has spoken, I accept the Caucus' verdict without qualification and without rancour. To each and every one of my supporters who together delivered nearly one third of the Caucus, I thank them, I thank them from the bottom of my heart.
To those who did not vote for me but with whom I have had some truly great conversations in recent days, can I thank them for their friendship and for their civility.
To those who have been a little more willing in their public character analysis of me in recent times, could I say the following - I bear no grudges, I bear no-one any malice, and if I've done wrong to anyone in what I have said, or in what I have done to them, I apologise.
It's time - in fact it's well past time - that these wounds were healed. Because what we in this Government and this party and this movement are wedded to is a high purpose.
Our purpose is to serve the nation, not ourselves.
Our purpose is to serve the people of Australia, not ourselves.
Our purpose is also to serve those who need the direct agency of government, everyday, in order to live, and to live with decency.
The unemployed, those who depend on our disability services system, those who can't afford a flash school, those who rely entirely - entirely - on the public health system of Australia. And of course our Indigenous brothers and sisters as well.
And to do this we must serve the people, not ourselves.
And that is what I dedicate myself to doing.
To Julia I would say the following as I have said just now in the Caucus - I accept fully the verdict of the Caucus, and I dedicate myself to working fully for her re-election as the Prime Minister of Australia.
And I will do so with my absolute ability dedicated to that task.
To the good people of Australia let me say a few things as well.
Firstly, thank you. Thank you on behalf of Therese and myself and the family for the extraordinary wave of public support that we have had, not just in recent days, but in recent years. You have been an enormous encouragement to the journey we have walked so far in public life. And from the bottom of our hearts and as a family a huge thank you from us.
I believe that when I nominated for the position of leader of the Labor Party, that this was doing exactly the right thing. I resigned as Foreign Minister because it was the right thing to do. I stood for the leadership because I believed it was the right thing to do. I knew it would be tough but I was not about to go and squib it. We Queenslanders are made of different stuff to that.
To thank some folks - firstly, the great institution of state, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. To the Secretary, Dennis Richardson; to the Deputy Secretaries; and to all of our ambassadors and high commissioners abroad and all our staff - you are a marvellous team of professionals. Each and every one of you, I'm proud of you.
You serve Australia well. You do so in ways which are rarely seen by the public at home.
We as a nation are blessed by their professionalism, and together we've achieved great things.
We've established and consolidated the G20 as the continuing global institution of global economic governance where Australia for the first time in our history has a seat at the table. Together we've helped establish a single institution in Asia for the first time in Asia's history which has all the principal powers of the region including the United States round the one table, hopefully to negotiate a peaceful future for our country and for the region rather than defaulting into conflict or war.
I'm proud of the fact also that through Australian foreign policy we have led the way in global initiatives in support of the end of tyranny in Libya.
We are leading the global debate on Syria, and the fact that we have been in the forefront of our support for people who this day will lose their lives through starvation in the horn of Africa.
I'm proud of all these things. I'm proud of the fact that we have consolidated our principal relationships right across this region. We now have defence and foreign ministers’ dialogues with all the principal countries of our region.
We didn't have that before. We have it now with Japan. We have it now with Korea. We have it with Indonesia. We have it prospectively with India.
These are important steps forward.
Together we have re-birthed our relationship with Europe. We have established now high-level strategic dialogues with Germany, with France, and taken it further in its consolidation with United Kingdom and with the European Union. We've also opened new chapters in our relationships with Africa, and Latin America.
Why do I emphasise these things?
Sometimes we get caught in a static frame. I've never been like that. Roll the clock ahead 10, 15 years and you will see the billion people of Africa and the 600 people of Latin America becoming the huge engine-drivers of the next wave of global growth, following those of China, and following those of India.
I'm proud of these things.
We are a middle power with global interests and with regional interests. I've sought to deliver on both.
I believe we have.
It's been the right thing to do.
I'm also proud of the fact of some little things - the fact that we've been able to appoint Australia's first Ambassador for Women and Girls, to take the challenge of dealing with the appalling exploitation of women and girls that we see across so many parts of the world.
And to announce - but not yet deliver - the fact that in this term we will have our first Indigenous Australian appointed as an Australian ambassador abroad from within the ranks of the Australian foreign service.
I also want to thank AusAID, a brilliant agency. We are now, I believe, the seventh largest aid donor in the world. We are now respected by all the other principal aid donors in the world, across Europe and the United States and in Canada. We work together in dealing with the great challenges of global poverty. And through AusAID's director, Peter Baxter, I say to each and every one of my team there, well done; you are a terrific group of people and you this day are saving lives in Australia's name and all Australians are indebted to you for doing that.
To a little-known institution called ACIAR - the Australian Council for International Agricultural Research. I'll ask Matthew Franklin to explain its precise functions now.
This is a great bunch of folks; they are probably amongst the foremost experts in agricultural science and seed productivity in dealing with poor and developing countries anywhere in the world; so when I go somewhere - East Timor or to the north of Africa - and they can't get enough out of seed yield, we get those folks to go and do the work. A brilliant bunch.
I also would like to thank ASIS and its Director Nick Warner; and that's about all I can say about that.
Can I thank also members of the Diplomatic Corps here in Canberra, to my colleagues and through the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps for their extraordinary support for me as Minister.
To my foreign ministerial colleagues around the world; we have worked together as great teams in dealing with some of the world's current challenges. I don't wish to name them all, but I count William Hague as a personal friend - we have worked very closely together; I count John Baird, the - a new Foreign Minister of Canada - or newish Foreign Minister of Canada in the same category; Marty Natalegawa, next door in Indonesia; Alain Juppe in France; Westerwelle in Germany; and the fact that right across the region, including my good friend Foreign Minister Kim in Korea, we have done enormous things together.
It's been a great team effort, often completely invisible to you good folks in the media, as it should be. But the team work has been great.
Now to my staff; this is where you start to gum up. The staff - where are they?
Oh, good. My staff; Philip Green, from the Department of Foreign Affairs, my Chief of Staff - formerly Australia's High Commissioner in South Africa and formerly high commissioner also in a number of other African countries prior to that - a first-class diplomat, a first-class professional. Philip, thank you so much for your work. I didn't expect to land you in all of this when you came into my employ.
To the deputy, Kate Sieper - who many of you know because she deals with you, ladies and gentlemen of the press - I thank her as well; she is terrific. Be gentle to Kate, she's having a baby soon, okay? And I'm going to hold you responsible for that, Dennis Shanahan; you're one of the senior ones in the gallery.
Can I also thank Patrick Gorman. Where are you, Patrick? Okay, Patrick, who has come to me from the far reaches of WA to work for this curious Queenslander, he's done a terrific job as well.
I also see Ranya Alkadamani up there. Ranya, terrific; a woman who comes to Australia, the daughter of Syrian parents who at a personal level has followed what has happened to her home communities back home and the ravages of what's unfolded in recent times.
My fantastic staff; what can I say about you all? You're just terrific. As are my electorate office staff in Brisbane.
To my family; Therese, to the kids, Jessica, Albert - my son in law, and the bubby, whenever the bub comes; the baby's due in May, be kind. To my son Nick and his fiancée Zara - they're getting married in April; Marcus, who's currently in the tender care of the Chinese Government at Peking University. Family for me is everything and I could do nothing in public life were it not for their support.
And darling, you have been a rock in recent days, an absolute rock in what is always one of the tough times in politics which are days like this.
Finally to the good burghers of Griffith themselves; my local community which Therese and I and our family love to bits. It's a wonderful part of Brissie for those of you who come from Queensland. It's where we live and have our being. To them I thank them for all their support as well as through them to my local and many branch members of the Griffith Federal Electorate Council of the Australian Labor Party.
Ladies and gentlemen, I will continue as the federal Member for Griffith. I will continue, as I've stated before, with the support of my local community to continue as the federal Member for Griffith into the future and beyond the next election.
Having said those remarks, let me just say, these are difficult times for the Australian Labor Party and the Australian Labor movement. If you look on the wall in this room - which people watching television won't see - it bears the photograph of each previous Labor leader back to the days of Federation when John Christian Watson formed the first Australian Labor government in 1904.
We've been around for a bit; we've done a few things. We got most of them right and we got a few things wrong. We, however, are on the side - the progressive side of Australian politics; we intend to stick there as well.
Over the years we've had a few internal problems as well, but we've got over them and we've written the history of this nation; the other mob have just reacted to it.
My task as a member of this parliament and a 30-year long member of the Australian Labor Party, as its former leader, as its former foreign minister and as its former prime minister, is to now throw my every effort in securing Julia Gillard's re-election as Labor Prime Minister at the next election.
We will now take our leave.