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Tanya Plibersek defends idea to have school kids learn patriotic pledge

Labor’s Tanya Plibersek has been forced to defend herself against backlash over her idea to have school kids recite Australia’s citizenship pledge.

The shadow education minister made the suggestion during a speech at the Opera House on Australia Day.

She expressed her love for the citizenship pledge and suggested it should be taught to Australian school students.

The pledge reads: “I pledge my loyalty to Australia and its People, whose democratic beliefs I share, whose rights and liberties I respect, and whose laws I will uphold and obey.”

But she’s faced significant backlash over the idea, with people calling it “disappointing” and “retrograde”.

But Tanya Plibersek tells Ben Fordham it’s possible to be both a progressive and love your country.

“People are entitled to their views and my view is that I think the citizenship pledge is a beautiful expression of what it takes to be a citizen.

“We pledge our loyalty to our country and to each other, it’s not to the crown, it’s not to a political party, it’s to one another and I think that’s really in line with the best traditions of Australia.”

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Image: Getty/Bradley Kanaris