2009 was a tough year, but Australia rose to the challenge of the global financial crisis. It shows what can be done when we all join together and work together, governments of all persuasions state, territory and local; businesses large and small; unions and local communities right across the nation.
We apologise for the laws and policies of successive parliaments and governments that have inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss on these our fellow Australians. We apologise especially for the removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families, their communities and their country.
But Australia faces additional regional and global challenges also crucial to our nation's future - climate change, questions of energy and food security, the rise of China and the rise of India. And we need a strong system of global and regional relationships and institutions to underpin stability.
As nations we should also commit afresh to righting past wrongs. In Australia we began this recently with the first Australians - the oldest continuing culture in human history. On behalf of the Australian Parliament, this year I offered an apology to indigenous Australians for the wrongs they had suffered in the past.
There are many who criticise the United Nations. And those of us who know this institution well know that it is not immune from criticism. But those who argue against the United Nations advance no credible argument as to what should replace it. Whatever its imperfections, the United Nations represents a necessary democracy of states.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is with great sadness that I announce that I will resign as Australia's Minister for Foreign Affairs. I am sad because I love this job. I'm totally dedicated to the work that we are doing in Australia's name around the world, and I believe that we have achieved many good results for Australia, and I'm proud of them.
I was elected by the people of Australia as Prime Minister of Australia. I was elected to do a job, I intend to continue doing that job. I intend to continue doing it to the absolute best of my ability. Part of that job has been to steer this country through the worst economic crisis the world has seen in 75 years.
I'm out there arguing the Labor case. I will do it anywhere and everywhere that I can. I do it within various communities across Australia where I am able to make a positive contribution. And let me tell you, my voice won't be silenced in the public debate because the issue at stake for Australia are so stark.