PM’s moment in front of the green marble

He might be the prime minister of Australia, but at the United Nations Malcolm Turnbull is simply another person on the list.


There was a tiny audience for his late-night time to shine on the world stage at the general assembly in New York.

Following the prime minister of Georgia, whose warm-up act included talk of one-stop shops and the fact there’s never been so many opportunities for hard-working people, it was Australia’s turn on Wednesday night.

As his excited wife Lucy watched on from the gallery wearing red in the sea of green, taking photos on her iPhone, Turnbull spoke of the Australian experience.

Putting AFL into the international lexicon, the PM shared the story of Sydney Swans defender Aliir Aliir who grew up in a refugee camp in Kenya, describing him as a role model in Australia’s multicultural society.

“Tall, fast, agile Aliir was a natural for Australian Rules Football and once he took up the game hasn’t looked back,” he said.

His deputy Julie Bishop, standing out in a shiny jacket, sat on the assembly floor with Turnbull’s advisers, including national security adviser Greg Moriarty and departmental head Martin Parkinson.

Getting his time to stand in front of the famous green marble, the prime minister’s speech ranged from refugees to North Korea and a pitch for a seat on the UN’s human rights council.

Australia would bring maturity and honesty, he said.

Finishing – a tad after getting the red warning light – the Turnbull speech was met with polite applause, including from Liberal MP Cory Bernardi and Labor’s Lisa Singh who are both on secondment to the UN.

The speech marks the end of his nearly-week long visit to New York.

Next stop – Washington DC.