Tuesday, 12 February 2019
Statements by Members
al-Araibi, Mr Hakeem
Just over half an hour ago, Hakeem al-Araibi came home to Melbourne. I rise in this place to celebrate his return and to celebrate his courage. I also want to acknowledge and pay tribute to the courage of his wife, who I had the pleasure to meet and spend time with in these recent and difficult days. I stand in awe of her resolve. I wish them both the happiness of coming together and hope they get to enjoy a real honeymoon soon.
That Hakeem al-Araibi is back is due to the work of many thousands of ordinary Australians. So many of us came together in a just cause. I'm pleased to stand in this place and acknowledge my friend the member for Wills; the Leader of the Opposition; the member for Gellibrand; the shadow minister for foreign affairs, Senator Wong; and the minister. I also acknowledge the work and leadership of the Prime Minister in this place. Many others came together in civil society. They were led by: Craig Foster, who has been irrepressible; the Football Federation and John Didiluca; the mighty Australian trade union movement, led by Sally McManus and Michele O'Neill; everyone at Amnesty International and at Human Rights Watch; Fatima Yazbek from the Gulf Institute, who has been such a support to Hakeem's wife; and so many in the media, especially Helen Davidson, James Massola and Sophie McNeill, who kept this story alive and kept the hearts and minds of Australians engaged.