Ladies and Gentlemen, good afternoon.
Australians are very proud of our open, free and multicultural society.
As a Government, we believe that human rights are universal, and that all persons – including from the LGBTI community - are entitled to respect, dignity and legal protection.
Of course, like all countries, the recognition of LGBTI rights in Australia has been a gradual process.
As you would know, our national parliament passed laws legalising same-sex marriage only at the end of last year, almost four years after my husband Michael and I were married in the United States.
We cannot deny that treatment of LGBTI people in Australia has not always reached our current ideals.
But the story of LGBTI rights in our country is one of constant improvement, to the benefit of all society.
Our most famous movie on Australian gay culture, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, came out in 1994.
It was an important movie because it depicted a time of great societal change in public attitudes towards the LGBTI community.
These changes would eventually lead to widespread acceptance of LGBTI people and recognition of their important contribution to our national life.
Up until the 1980s, Australian society was conformist, rigid and patriarchal.
Homosexuality was still taboo.
In fact, homosexual relations were still illegal in the state of Tasmania, and would remain so until 1997.
At a more basic level, we were a society that celebrated a culture of masculinity.
Men had to be macho, and there was little room for diversity.
The movie Priscilla focuses on a brave segment of the gay male community – drag queens – who, perhaps more than any other group, deviated from traditional stereotypes of the “Aussie male”.
They played a crucial role in the fight for equal rights.
Outrageous, defiant, colourful, funny, attention-seeking - the drag queen culture sought to upend social strictures about sexuality.
This is why they occupy an important place in Australian LGBTI culture.
The movie Priscilla tells the story of two drag queens and a transgender woman as they journey across the Australian outback, performing for local communities.
On their way, they experience verbal abuse, and even physical violence.
In the end, however, Priscilla is a celebration of Australian drag queen and gay culture.
It openly defies the stereotypical image of the masculine, Australian male.
Priscilla’s irreverent humour and hard-hitting political message made it an international smash-hit.
It remains popular even today, with a musical stage version still touring countries worldwide.
Today, you will see a documentary on the making of Priscilla, called Between a Frock and a Hard Place.
今天，我们为大家带来一部关于《沙漠妖姬》的纪录片，英文名是Between a Frock and a Hard Place，暂且翻译为《异装融化坚冰——〈沙漠妖姬〉背后的故事》。
It intertwines reflections on the making of Priscilla with a history of the LGBTI rights movement in Australia.
We see the evolution of Mardi Gras from its origins as a gay rights protest to the celebration of LGBTI culture that it is today.
It is on balance a positive story, and a proud reflection of Australian society as a whole.
I hope you enjoy the documentary, and I highly recommend those who have not yet seen Priscilla to do so.