Paul Keating's Redfern Speech Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Paul Keating's Redfern Speech

Paul Keating's speech at Redfern Park provides examples of rhetoric that are discussed below. The speech uses of and the three modes of persuasion: pathos, ethos, and logos. The use of epiphora, particularly in tricolon format, lends both cadence and emphasis. The word imagine is used in this manner and in epiphora convention, as the word is repeated in successive clauses. The connotation of the word confident is made more powerful by its proximity to the word imagine. Further, antithesis is threaded throughout by deliberate distinctions between non-Aboriginal and indigenous Australians, and presumably to use the favored terms of reference for every member of the audience -- as it is a political speech. There is a great divide between the experiences and treatment of the privileged primarily white non-indigenous citizens of Australia and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people. Keating does not shy away from this fact. Indeed, he even underscores the confounding problem by reminding the now privileged Australians that they were not always so, through his use of erotema. He asks again and again, if Australia did not open its doors and extend its hands to the dispossessed people of Ireland, Britain, Europe, and Asia.

Keating's use of pathos in this speech is not...
...Indigenous Australians have suffered greatly and long at the hands of the European settlers and immigrants. Bad as that may be -- and Keating delineates the factors that make the current status very bad indeed -- Australia's international reputation depends on the country's ability to clean up its own mess, so to speak. In this effective use of pathos, Keating outlines the important relation between the unresolved discrimination and mistreatment of the Aborigines and the Torres Strait Islanders to the nation's status in the international community. In effect, Keating has at once appealed to the guilt of privileged Australians and made them realize that the nation's economic progress is threatened by the continuation of what is seen in the international arena as a violation of human rights. This is a fallacious argument as it suggests that the international reception of Australia will somehow be altered by the fact that, despite concrete evidence that the country is making an effort to improve the lot of indigenous Australians, it is not enough and, as a result, there will be ramifications. The Report of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody has cut to the quick, and just on the end of this reference, Keating asks not for guilt, but for all people to open their hearts just a bit. This is a clear use of fallacy since Keating most certainly does want to engender and capitalize on the audience's guilt. This use of pathos not only appeals to the emotions of the audience, but it presumes that the audience members value their country as one that offers a fair go and a better chance. The power of pathos in the speech lies partly in this presumption that what causes them all…

Sources Used in Documents:


Cockcroft, R. And Cockcroft S.M. (2005). Persuading people: an introduction to rhetoric. (2nd ed.). Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave MacMillan.

Keating, P. Australian Launch of the International Year for the World's Indigenous People. Redfern Park, Sydney, Australia. December 10, 1992

____. (2011). Communication: rhetoric and reasoning. [Course readings]. Magill, SA: School of Communication, International Studies and Languages, University of South Australia.

Cite This Essay:

"Paul Keating's Redfern Speech" (2012, April 16) Retrieved February 25, 2021, from

"Paul Keating's Redfern Speech" 16 April 2012. Web.25 February. 2021. <>

"Paul Keating's Redfern Speech", 16 April 2012, Accessed.25 February. 2021,