JOINT PRESS RELEASE
HON MALCOLM TURNBULL MP, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION,
SENATOR MITCH FIFIELD, SHADOW PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY FOR DISABILITIES, CARERS AND THE VOLUNTARY SECTOR
We welcome the suggestion by the family of Luke Mitchell to recognise our nation’s Good Samaritans.
Luke’s tragic death and that of Melbourne lawyer Brendan Keilar demonstrate the high price that some people pay for the selfless care they show to their fellow human beings.
Edmund Burke famously noted all that is needed for evil to triumph was for good men to do nothing. These two men were not prepared to stand aside and do nothing.
The Opposition would support the creation of a Good Samaritan Day where we could recognise the contributions of people such as Luke Mitchell and Brendan Keilar.
While the circumstance of their terrible deaths should never be repeated, they should act as an inspiration to all of us to look out for others, strangers or not.
Australians have a proud tradition of helping out their mates and neighbours, and we often extend that attitude to strangers. In many ways, it would be ideal for every day to be Good Samaritans’ Day, but the idea of being reminded of this common sense of humanity once a year is admirable.
Australia is fortunate enough to have around 5.4 million volunteers across the nation who provide resources to some 700,000 not for profit organisations. These volunteers make up the social fabric of our community on an ongoing basis.
Good Samaritans assist their fellow citizens for no other reason that it is the right thing to do.
As a community, we should celebrate the fact that we are willing to reach out to others and assist them, even if they are extending only the most basic of courtesies such as assisting someone with a disability to cross the street.
On behalf of the Opposition we thank all our Good Samaritans and urge us all to learn from their actions.
28 August 2009