Who I am today is shaped by the good things I’ve done in my life. Not just the good things, but the mistakes I’ve made and how I’ve learned from them. That’s how you grow, and back then the pages in a book, a history book, clearly didn’t make the impression on me that they were supposed to.
Did you feel the pressure to reveal this today? Like I said, you’ve known that for 20 years.
Like I said, it’s something I’ve had to carry with me all my life. And when it was presented to me two days ago, I thought, and [it’s] something I’ve struggled with and thought about but never done. And when it was brought up to me, like I said, it’s mine, it’s a massive mistake, a terrible mistake I made, and it was important, it was important for the people of our state to take it from me hear situations where I know that today and what I say will bring immense pain to people.
Prime Minister, have you ever thought about how damaging this could be for your election campaign?
Premier, you said you didn’t know that wearing that costume was a problem, that it would be offensive if you did, but you realized it a day later. That doesn’t make sense when you’re saying that at age 21 you didn’t realize how obnoxious that would be, but you did realize it the day you wore the costume.
The next day my parents spoke to me.
what did they say to you
They said what I did was wrong and insensitive.
Were your parents at the party?
Premier, you have called for lifetime bans for anyone who used Nazi salutes at the Australia Cup final. That’s pretty amazing given some of the things you’ve said… How does it all fit in?
Well, as I said, my life, my life experiences and the journey I have taken have made me a very passionate supporter of the Jewish people. I understood first hand the books I read through the experiences and the people I spoke to and I became incredibly passionate about them. When [former NSW Jewish Board of Deputies chief executive] Vic Alhadeff and I spoke about this today, he knows how passionate I am and have been since I’ve been in public life in supporting our Jewish community, Holocaust survivors and also our veterans, who and their families and many who do freedoms we enjoy today died in the fight for them.
You already announced an extension for 2021 [the Jewish] Museum and in the same year they announced a state funeral [Holocaust survivor] Eddie Jaku. Are you telling us that you did both, even though you knew you had this secret? You didn’t think this was a good time to disclose?
There have also been other times when I’ve thought about doing this. And maybe I think that as Treasurer of the Jewish Museum… that’s probably what pushed me, in my personal way, to do whatever I can to help the Jewish community in my role as Parliamentarian and Treasurer.
It’s something I know so well, having done what I’ve done, that there couldn’t be a more important thing than helping young people understand and appreciate them, and that’s why I made this investment as Treasurer .
In response to your question, there were a number of times it was an issue of personal concern to me, and I felt within myself that, driven by it, I would do things to support the Jewish community in our state, and I did this.
What would you say to people who say you’re only doing this because it was supposed to be published on the eve of an election?
I’ve grappled with that all my life. I’ve had that for my life and the reason… there have been a number of times and events that have made me think about it, but when I was told it felt like that’s hard to say because I know how it is hurtful it is for so many people in our state. And it was important that I, as the premier of this state, address this and apologize for the hurt and pain this will cause.
The Morning Edition Newsletter is our guide to the day’s most important and interesting stories, analysis and insights. Sign up here.
https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/the-most-pointed-questions-posed-to-perrottet-and-how-he-answered-them-20230112-p5cc78.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_national_nsw The most pointed questions to the Prime Minister and how he answered them