Federal election: Anthony Albanese pays tribute to late mum in final push to become PM

Headshot of Lanai Scarr
Lanai ScarrThe West Australian
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VideoWild scenes as Anthony Albanese gets mobbed by school kids.

Anthony Albanese has given his strongest campaign performance yet, paying tribute to his late mother for having the courage to keep him as a child at a time when it was frowned on to be a single parent.

Speaking in Adelaide, Mr Albanese said that Maryanne would be “proud as punch” that he could be prime minister in a day’s time.

“She chose, in order to to deal with the pressures that were on a young Catholic woman at that time in those circumstances, to take my father’s name,” the Labor leader said, tears welling up in his eyes.

“And I was raised being told that he had died.

“That’s a tough decision. It says something about the pressure that was placed on women and the pressures that are still placed on women when faced with difficult circumstances.

“So the fact that young kid is now running for prime minister says a lot about her and her courage, but also says a lot about this country.”

Anthony Albanese holds baby Charlie while campaigning in Adelaide.
Camera IconAnthony Albanese holds baby Charlie while campaigning in Adelaide. Credit: Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images

Mr Albanese said that he hoped his disadvantaged upbringing would inspire others that they could achieve anything.

The Opposition leader grew up on a council-owned housing estate in Camperdown in NSW.

“I hope what that does, is that it sends a message for people of whatever background that they can achieve anything — including that someone with a non-Anglo Celtic name can put themselves forward for prime minister,” he said.

“Part of what I’ve said during this campaign is ‘no one held back and no one left behind’.

“No one left behind because Labor will always look after the vulnerable and the disadvantaged.

“But no one held back because I, unashamedly, and Labor should always be about aspiration.”

Mr Albanese paid tribute to former prime minister Julia Gillard (who attended the press conference) and others who had helped him in his career.

“No one gets to this spot by themselves,” he said. “And I thank Julia and others who have helped me along the way.”

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