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Introduction

Speech by the Governor of Victoria at the reception for the International Cricket Council Women's T20 World Cup 2020

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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 evening.

Tony and I are so pleased to host you all at Government House, and extend a particular welcome to our international guests from New Zealand and Sri Lanka.

This event warms our hearts.

First – and I can assume that even our visitors are well aware of this – we just love our major sporting events here in Victoria.

Melbourne is the only city in the world that hosts a tennis Grand Slam and a Formula One Grand Prix. Our Spring Racing Carnival includes the Melbourne Cup that has, for 160 years stopped the nation, and we are home to Australian Football: almost a ‘religion’ in this part of the world!

And, of course, you all know of our Boxing Day Test (that most recently attracted crowds of more than 200,000).

But our love of sport here is not just a recent phenomenon. It has always been so.

Indeed the Melbourne Cricket Club was founded in 1838, and the famous Melbourne Cricket Ground, where the upcoming final will be played, was instigated by my predecessor, Victoria’s very first Vice-Regal representative, Lieutenant-Governor Charles La Trobe, when he set aside the land in 1853.

These were such early times in the history of the colony, but we had our priorities well sorted!

So it is no surprise that we in Victoria are delighted to be a host of cricket’s fastest growing tournament, the ICC T20 World Cup 2020: the Men’s Final later this year, and the Women’s Final on 8 March 2020.

We are particularly proud to be a part of ICC history, with standalone Men’s and Women’s tournaments being played for the first time – all the more so to be hosting the Women’s Final on International Women’s Day – a day that celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.

This evening is not the occasion to speak in detail of the fundamental obstacles that still challenge parity for women around the world in so many different ways and on so many different levels.

It is, however, the ideal occasion to talk of the inspiration of women athletes, who model to the world that they are strong and capable of achieving at the highest level of their professions.

We are confident that the T20 World Cup will showcase their talent, and will become the biggest women’s sporting event to ever be held in Australia – and perhaps even in the world.

We congratulate everyone involved in the Tournament, wish all the teams the best of luck, and hope that our visitors might find a little bit of time to enjoy some of the joys of Melbourne and Victoria.

Certainly, there is plenty of activity, coffee, great dining and fun to be found near both the MCG and the Junction Oval.

But for now, please enjoy your time here with us at Government House and we look forward to meeting many of you soon.