Friends, I want to share this with you. If you have a go, you get a go. I firmly believe that. I have always believed that.
How good is blind optimism, eh!?
Let me tell you, even at school, I lived my life by this motto. Fair dinkum!
For example, as a young fella, I would always try out for every school sports sport, whether it be rugby league, rugby union, soccer, tennis, badminton, hockey, underwater hockey, ice hockey, lacrosse, wrestling, Greco-Roman wrestling, judo, karate, table tennis, polo, polo-cross, show jumping, athletics, golf, cricket, orienteering, mountain climbing, pentathlon, arm wrestling, thumb wrestling, gymnastics, chess, Cluedo, Battleships, Scrabble, Dungeons and Dragons and the many, many other co-curricular activities actively embraced by the Sydney private school I happened to attend.
Oh, also slalom, swimming, synchronised swimming, diving, pole vault, rhythmic gymnastics, ski-jumping, kayaking, canoeing, skiing, bobsled, ski-jump, Canasta, go fish and snap.
And in keeping with my lifelong motto, eventually, after only a very mild intervention by Daddy, and later, Grandfather, along with a relatively small donation, I was begrudgingly admitted to the U/14D cricket team as second reserve scorer!
Which just goes to show, if you have a go, you get a go!
Almost forgot high jump, long jump, three-legged race, apple bobbing, carpet bowls, Quidditch and, of course, ball-tampering.
It was during one of those long afternoons in remote outer-suburban Sydney parklands, as I waited patiently for the extremely unlikely event both scorers would need to relieve themselves at exactly the same time, that I came up with my famous catchphrase, "Where the bloody hell are ya?!”
It was, indeed, what cricket master Strumpel shouted repeatedly as I slept peacefully behind the scoreboard during round 17, when Hanrahan and Poole decided, inexplicably, to bleed their respective lizards at precisely the same time.
And it was possibly some of Strumpel’s stylish cut shots and back drives to my left temple and forehead with a nearby cricket stump, as I lay behind that quaint little scoreboard – oh, how we laughed! – that may have led me to decide to study “economic geography” (whatever that is) at Sydney University. Possibly it is. Who knows? Those 11 or so years at Sydney Uni are now a total and complete blank. Thanks, Strumpel!
Nevertheless, I had a go, most likely. And so, after little more than a decade of tertiary education and just a few subsequent years of intense litigation, I got to go. Out into the world. Clutching my degree. Full of big dreams and lofty aspirations. Just another raw, hopeful, fresh-faced 37-year-old.
I love this country. Where else in the world can a young bloke with nothing else but a worthless degree, a thick wad of lobsters and some well-placed cronies expect, with just a bit of graft, to become prime minister?
How good is that?!
Can I hear a Hallelujah, brothers and sisters?!
My message to you, my friends – to you, the party faithful – to our esteemed special guests: Brian Houston, Mick Fanning’s Mum, Christian rockers Tongue and the Happy Clappers, those daring snake wrestlers from the Hillsong Reptile Park (incidentally, in case you were worried, Bob is just fine) and Winx.
My message to you – to all you pilgrims – is to have a go. Because even if you are as stupid as Mathias Cormann’s accent, as mad as a bag full of black snakes… even if you find yourself repeatedly mistaken for Malcolm Roberts, and even, friends, if you are as repellent and objectionable as a wheelie bin full of Kevin Andrews’ fungal toenail clippings — indeed, even if you are Kevin Andrews …
[GASPS FROM CROWD. WIDESPREAD SOUNDS OF RETCHING]
Yes, that’s right. I said it. Even if you’re Kevin bloody Andrews!
Even if you are all those things, remember, it could be worse! I mean, after all, you could be Bill Shorten!
[SHARP INTAKES OF BREATH. NO!]
You could! But most of all, remember, if you have a go, you get a go! Shit, you might even become prime minister! Deadset! God is good! Good for a few marginal seats, that is!
And how good is being an accidental Prime Minister?!
So, keep smiling. Keep clapping. Keep bashing those Bibles. And stay affluent, as the Lord commanded.
How good is God?!
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