Latika Bourke from the SMH with the story.
Bill Shorten has told supporters he still has "an immense amount of fire in the belly" and described himself as "a leader" and said the election loss he oversaw, his second as opposition leader, was not the result Labor deserved.
His comments will reinforce a view among some Labor MPs that Mr Shorten still harbours leadership ambitions.
In a video recording of a speech to the Maribyrnong End of Year Party on Thursday night, obtained by The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, Mr Shorten said the result of the 2019 election, which Labor was widely expected to win, was not deserved.
But the former leader, who has said he plans to remain in Parliament for 20 more years despite leading Labor to two conservative losses, said Labor was on the cusp of winning the next election.
"It was not the result we wanted or desired or worked for or even deserved," he told supporters.
"The Labor Party has pulled together which is good, I now have the opportunity to be a leader and I believe you don't have to be the leader to be a leader," he said.
Mr Shorten then went on to say he had "an immense amount of fire in the belly and I think together we can make Labor a winning combination at the next election," he said.
"But sometimes, and these are bittersweet lessons, they say the best lessons you learn are in defeat and what I think the character of our party is and it pains me to say it but the character of our party should be winning but we didn't".
Mr Shorten reeled off a list of factors he believed could have been addressed to reverse the outcome, "if the universe were to grant re-runs".
"Clive Palmer, Bob Brown in Queensland or digital campaigning or you know looking at some of our franking credits - whatever, but the universe doesn't grant re-runs but we can learn from it.
The event at the Buckley Park Bowls Club in Essendon was also attended by State Labor MPs Ben Carroll and Dan Pearson. State Labor MLCs Cesar Melhem, Ingrid Stitt and Kaushaliya Vaghela were also listed as VIP special guests.
Immediately after the election loss, Mr Shorten told allies that he still wanted to be leader again, despite the public rejecting him twice. Mr Shorten's spokesman said at the time the report was "bullshit." The former Labor leader is now the opposition's spokesman for disabilities.