Aussies Share Their Moving #MyMum Stories After Shorten's Tears
Inspired by Bill Shorten's emotional defence of his mum, other Australians are sharing their own stories of mothers who have gone above and beyond for their kids.
The Labor leader's teary and extraordinary salute to his late mother has been called the election campaign's most poignant moment so far. In Nowra on Wednesday, Shorten lashed out at what he called a "political attack" on his mum, over a newspaper front page which claimed he "omitted" facts about Ann Shorten's career on the ABC's Q&A.
“Who do these people at News Corp think they are?” he said.
Fighting back tears at several points, he gave some of his family history and showered glowing, emotional praise on his mother -- adding that her example is "what drives me".
Supporters, other politicians and even News Corp employees have attacked the Daily Telegraph story, and lined up to support Shorten.
Later on Wednesday, as vision of Shorten's emotional press conference circulated, the hashtags #MyMum and #BillsMum began trending on Twitter as people shared their own stories of extraordinary mothers.
Some of Australia's best-known media personalities and social media identities took part.
Some shared stories of beautiful, loving mothers.
Others talked of the potential their mothers never had the chance to realise or explore, due to family sacrifices or other barriers.
Some spoke out about how their mothers were unfairly forced to sideline their own career and aspirations, due to a historical lack of opportunity for women.
Others spoke proudly of how their mothers rose above obstacles and achieved their dreams anyway.
Others used the hashtag to send support to Shorten.
Shorten used the opportunity to call for a higher standard of debate in Australian politics. The Daily Telegraph journalist who wrote the story has defended her work in a Sky News TV interview.
"This story in no way, shape or form was an attack on Bill Shorten’s mother," journalist Anna Caldwell said.
"She had an incredible career, and in fact, this story is articulating that in detail."
Prime Minister Scott Morrison called it an “upsetting story” and said the election was “not about our families”.
“I know Bill and I would like to keep focused on that choice [between the two major parties] and not on our families,” he said at a press conference.
Josh Butler is on the campaign trail with Bill Shorten.
Listen to Hugh Riminton and Peter Van Onselen in The Professor and The Hack discuss all things #Auspol.