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Speech by the Governor of Victoria at the Australian Mathematics Competition Medals Ceremony


First, I acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land upon which we are gathering and pay my respects to their Elders past and present and to any Elders here with us this afternoon.

Tony and I are pleased to welcome you all to Government House today for the 2019 Australian Mathematics Competition (AMC) Medals Ceremony. An especially warm welcome to Victoria for those of you who have travelled here from other parts of Australia.

When we look at you, our medallists, we know several things.

First, that you are amongst the top 0.01% of the 250,000 students who sit this competition around the world. You can be proud of that.

Secondly, we know that your mathematical problem solving skills will benefit you throughout your lives.

And finally, when we see you here, we are aware that we are looking at such an important resource for our nation’s future.

The vision of the Australian Maths Trust is to develop a nation of creative problem solvers.

Each one of you has shown that you have the capacity for creativity, persistence and the ability to think logically and critically in solving real-life problems.

We know that around 75% of all future jobs are expected to call for qualifications or skills in STEM areas.

It is not hard to see that STEM and problem-solving skills will be crucial to our success.

The Australian Maths Trust is a great contributor to that success.

Now in its 42nd year, this Mathematics Competition has attracted over 15 million students from more than 30 countries around the world.

Of the 58 medals awarded in 2019 for exceptional results in the Competition, 30 went to students in Australia, seven of whom achieved a perfect score.

Last year also saw many successes for our Australian students in international competitions.          

The first Australian team to compete in the European Girls’ Mathematical Olympiad gained an excellent result of 20th - in the top half of the competing countries.           

This year, our team performed brilliantly at the 60th International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) held in the United Kingdom in July. Competing against 621 students from 112 participating countries, Australia ranked 18th in the world, and garnered six individual medals, with very high world placings.

The team was also victorious in bringing home the trophy from the annual Ashes competition, a friendly training challenge between Australia and England.

What a boost it will be when, in 2025, we will host the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) right here in Melbourne.   

As the proud Governor of Victoria, of course I cannot imagine a better place to host the best and brightest young mathematical minds the world has to offer.

I have no doubt that the AMT programs and competitions, and the 2025 IMO, will continue to inspire and help young Australians to discover and engage in maths.

Thank you to the Board, the AMT staff, partners and sponsors.

Thank you also to the many AMT volunteers for their tireless contributions and dedication.

Finally, and most importantly, we wish our medallists the warmest congratulations. We are so happy to have you with us today. And your parents, teachers and supporters. Please make sure you enjoy it. And have fun too!