The highest point in Kiribati is three metres above sea level. One hundred thousand people are crowded along 2,485 square miles of land, an area which is shrinking fast as climate change raises sea levels, swallowing more and more of their homeland. I was proud to host two remarkable women, Sennai and Varsiti, representing the Kiribati Climate Change Action Network and the Kiribati Health Retreat Association.
They visited the New South Wales Parliament to deliver a simple message: do something, do anything to help their people. They said that we in Australia are their brothers and sisters, that they look to us for guidance, leadership, support and compassion. For the members of Parliament in attendance, their visit was a powerful reminder that we have to balance our interests with those of our nearest neighbours in the South Pacific. I thank all those who came to hear these wonderful women speak. I also thank the Edmund Rice Centre, Micah Australia and the Pacific Calling Partnership for organising their visit. Most of all, I thank Sen-nai and Var-Siti for their courage and passion and for travelling to the Parliament to stand up for their people.