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Observing the Stage 3 restrictions, the Governor and Mr Howard have resumed a fully online program of virtual engagements this week.

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Late last week, Victoria saw a return to Stage 3 restrictions for metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire. (For more information on the Stage 3 restrictions please refer to the Victorian Government directives). In response to this announcement, over the weekend the Governor released a message to Victorians affected by the Stage 3 restrictions. The Governor highlighted the important need for those affected to follow the expert health advice, encouraging all Victorians to support each other through kindness, compassion and resilience.  To read the Governor’s message in full, visit this page.

A great strength of Victoria is the breadth and depth of our creative talent – and we have always been fortunate to see it in the live shows for which Victoria is renowned. As many Victorians entered this challenging period, the Governor and Mr Howard invited singer songwriter and Ngiyampaa man, Pirritu to perform at Government House for those experiencing restrictions, in the hope that his music might lift everyone’s spirits a little.  To watch Pirritu’s touching performance, visit this page.

Observing the Stage 3 restrictions, the Governor and Mr Howard have resumed a fully online program of virtual engagements. Through their virtual program the Governor and Mr Howard are continuing their engagement with the community, meeting and speaking with Victorians from all corners of the State, who represent many different community organisations, industry sectors and businesses. Among other calls, online meetings and virtual visits this week, the Governor met with the Chair and CEO of Responsible Gambling Victoria, to discuss the ways in which this vital organisation is supporting Victorians affected by gambling.  In particular, the Governor heard about the special measures in place to assist Victorians affected by problem gambling during COVID-19.

The Governor also spent time speaking with the Mayor and CEO of Moonee Valley City Council, some of whose citizens were subject to the initial round of restrictions a fortnight ago. The Governor was grateful to hear about how that community has experienced recent events, and more generally, to hear about the many exciting developments in this dynamic part of Melbourne’s inner north west.

In a continuation of the virtual regional tour program, the Governor had an opportunity to visit the Mt Buller and Mt Stirling Alpine Resort. Apart from being one of the most beautiful parts of our State - especially during winter when blanketed with snow – Mt Buller and Mt Stirling contribute significantly to the State’s tourism, sport and recreation sectors. Mt Buller comprises over 300 hectares of skiable terrain, and has the largest lift network in Victoria, while Mt Stirling is the only Victorian alpine resort with a largely undeveloped and unspoilt true alpine summit, offering a readily accessible 'semi-wilderness' experience for visitors. The ski season this year has been significantly impacted by COVID-19 and the Governor was glad to hear about the measures in place to respond to these challenges.  For more information about the Mt Buller and Mt Stirling Alpine Resort, visit their websites.

The Governor and Mr Howard are also preparing for Government House to participate in this year’s Virtual Open House Melbourne Program, which will be held next week, on Saturday 25 July.  A highlight of the Government House calendar in usual times, and part of the Governor and Mr Howard’s commitment to making Government House accessible to the community, Open House Melbourne provides Victorians with an opportunity to visit the State Apartments of Government House, as part of the city-wide Open House program.  This year, the program will be run virtually, and will include a live tour of the State Apartments hosted by the Governor and Mr Howard at 2.00 pm on Saturday 25 July. For more information about the 2020 Open House Melbourne program, visit their website. More information about how Victorians are able to view this virtual tour of the State Apartments of Government House Victoria will be shared across our social media channels in the coming days.