The Governor of Victoria's speech for the 2018 Churchill Fellowship Awards.
Associate Professor Jane Munro, Director, The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust and Chair of the Victorian Regional Committee
Mr Adam Davey, Chief Executive Officer, The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust
Churchill Fellows and all our distinguished guests
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 delighted to welcome you here to Government House for the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Awards presentation to the 2018 Fellows.
Many years ago, I sat where you did. In 1994, I received the Percy Baxter Churchill Fellowship to travel to Canada, the US and the UK to research ways to reduce cost and delay in the criminal justice system.
I recall the nerves and excitement – in equal part. The honour of succeeding in the rigorous Fellowship process. The excitement of coming to Government House. The nerves for the task ahead. And the anxiety of leaving my small children at home.
Today, without the nerves, I can look at you – our newest Churchill Fellows – with pure excitement.
You are on the cusp of so much. You are about to experience and do so much. And then, in turn, you are about to offer so much back to our community.
I’m not sure I thought about it then, but when I see you today, I think about the notion of a legacy.
As Churchill Fellows you are part of the legacy of Sir Winston Churchill. The Trust was created when Churchill died, to create a scholarship that would be available to people on a broad basis, to pursue knowledge and expertise across the world.
Your experiences, the boundaries you push, the knowledge you gain, the expertise you contribute – will all be a part of the Churchill legacy.
But you will also be creating your own legacy for your respective professions and callings.
Your Churchill Fellowship will help to empower you to make a grander and larger contribution. It will open doors for you. It will open the world for you.
It will allow you to meet new people, gather new insights and identify solutions to challenges you have identified in your area of expertise.
It will allow you to bring back to Australia the outcomes of your research and new knowledge.
Your legacy will contribute to the ‘Peace and Prosperity’ of Victoria, and beyond.
I welcome this opportunity to thank all those who contribute to the Trust so generously, whether it is by financial support or by contributing their time and skill to the selection process.
Those who help the Trust seem to be capable of dedicated volunteering for the long haul. I note that in just the last year, some very long term contributors have retired. What an immeasurable contribution they have made. I thank Richard Grant, Berenice Nyland, Jeremy Upton, Douglas Butler, Max Newton, David White, David Purchase and Henry Gaughan.
And, in turn, I wish the new and incoming panel and committee members as much satisfaction as enjoyed by those who preceded you. I can speak from personal experience in that regard.
Thank you too to Associate Professor Jane Munro, the Chair of the Victorian Selection Committee, and to the hard working and efficient secretary Ms Alison Power.
That leaves me only to say 'Congratulations' to you, the 2018 Victorian Churchill Fellows. And congratulations to your families, friends and colleagues here with you today.
They can share in the pride of knowing that you have been selected as a leader in your field.
I look forward to chatting with you shortly.