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First (maiden) Speech

August 02, 2022 at 5:00pm - 5:15pm
Senate Public Gallery, Parliament House Canberra

Please note: registrations for this event are now closed.

You can watch live via 


Senator David Pocock will be delivering his First Speech (once known as a maiden speech) to Parliament on Tuesday 2 August at 5pm.

The tradition of the first speech originated from the British House of Commons. 

First speeches are a significant moment in a parliamentarian’s term. They are generally used to outline what the parliamentarian hopes to achieve during their term. 

It’s also an opportunity to provide some personal insights and reflection, offer thanks and highlight key priorities.

There is a long-standing convention that first speeches are heard in silence (without interjection) up to a maximum of 20 minutes.

Senator Pocock is also using the occasion of his First Speech to promote greater diversity and inclusion in parliament by requesting that it be live-translated to Auslan.

This would be the first, but hopefully not the last, time a First Speech was live translated to Auslan in the Senate. 

Former Senator Natasha Stott Despoja AO, noted in her first speech in 1996 that parliament had a hearing loop system here for people who are hearing impaired. At the time she said “I hope we do not have to wait too long before our parliamentary broadcasts of question time are subtitled so that we can actually make the workings of parliament more accessible to the 11 per cent of the population who are hearing impaired.”

Today, 1 in 6 Australians experience some form of hearing loss. Raising awareness, changing behaviour to make our parliament more accessible and inclusive is a big part of walking the talk of doing politics differently.

We hope you can join us for this event.


Please note that Parliament House rules do not permit the wearing of Team Pocock merchandise into the building and you will are not permitted to film proceedings in the chamber and will need to log personal effects at the cloak room prior to entering the public gallery.