It is rare that I am inspired, and actually follow through, with writing to someone I do not know. For me, it has always seemed a strange thing to do. But today, I could find no other way to do service to my reactions to reading the final speech of Peter Georgiou, upon his retirement from Australia’s federal parliament. A copy of the letter I sent Peter is below.

Dear Peter

You do not know me, nor I you. I was struck, however, by the immense respect, appreciation and hope that I felt in reading your final speech to Federal Parliament. Please know, I am not one to write letters. This is my first to an MP, although yes I have as a youth met and discussed issues with John Howard, Tony Abbott and Peter Reith while the Liberals most recently were in Government, and with several members of the current Government.

You may not have the time to read all your correspondence, but for your sake, I hope you will take the time during or after your transition period to whatever is next, to read it all – personally. I say this in the firm belief that if you have inspired myself to write, then surely there will be many others. Your work for the past many years in parliament is not, in my view, a highly lucrative one; hardly appropriate one might say, for the work load and personal tolls involved. My confident expectation of the clear and detailed positivity with which your service will be regarded is, while merely words, hopefully of some weight in balancing the scales in return for your efforts.

You may like to know that I am not, by voting, a Liberal. But the ideals you expressed in your speech, and the resonance they had for me that you have truly lived them and fought for them, find me in complete agreement. I recall your stance and no doubt only some of your efforts with regards to asylum seekers and Aboriginal youth. I recall thinking ‘thank God, there are people with Heart and Principle in our Parliament.’ I am not, I should say, at all religious. Yet my Spirit leapt to attention, in recognition of your clear, sane and compassionate approach to these issues. It is so easy to forget, to lament, to denigrate, the leadership we as a people have. I have often been guilty of this. Your leadership, however, reminded me of the inherent dignity our leaders can have. It inspired in me an aspiration to further embody the common decency I was raised to cherish; the fundamental human respect and freedom we all desire and deserve.

With you Sir, I am a liberal, no matter how I vote. As one seemingly inconsequential citizen, I thank you for your service. I hope you enjoy your well deserved retirement from Parliament; may it spur others to continue where you have left off.

Regards

Chris Stewart