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Speech given by the Governor at the reception for the 2019 Australian International Airshow.


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 delighted to welcome you all to Government House to mark the start of this year’s Australian International Airshow, with a particularly warm welcome to the very many of you who have travelled from interstate and overseas.

May I single out two particular visitors from interstate.

It is a pleasure for us to welcome His Excellency, Governor Hurley and Mrs Hurley.

I am pleased for this opportunity to congratulate them on the wonderful contribution they have made to the State of New South Wales, and to congratulate them too as they soon enough embark upon the Governor-General role in Canberra.

Some of you might be aware that, occasionally, there has been friendly rivalry between Victoria and New South Wales. When I say ‘occasionally’, I really mean pretty much consistently across some 150 years, but I do emphasise the ‘friendly’ part of the rivalry!

And so I am confident that, this evening, His Excellency will forgive the Governor of Victoria for talking with great pride about Victoria’s hosting of the 2019 Australian International Airshow, being held in Avalon for the 14th time across what is now heading towards three decades.

It is hard not to be enthusiastic about the most comprehensive aviation, aerospace and defence exposition in the Southern Hemishpere.

And 2019 sees the biggest exposition ever, with some 700 exhibitors from 30 different countries, including nearly 470 from Australia.

Senior civil aviation and air transport, aerospace and defence industry, military and government decision-makers from around the world, will gather for a comprehensive conference program, at which common challenges, opportunities and solutions will be discussed.

They will gather too for an international industry exposition, at which – once again – good business will be done.

It is exciting that an inaugural Australian Space Industry Conference will also be a part of this year’s program.

I should add that this event is also much loved by the public.

 With around 350 aircraft on display – on the ground, and in the air - both aviation enthusiasts, and the those who are curious, will be at Avalon this weekend.

Tony and I will again enjoy seeing the many youngsters who, with their families, are learning about civil and defence aviation, aerospace capabilities, clever innovations and possible career opportunities. And this year, the aerospace showcase on space exploration will certainly pique the imaginations of young and old.

In total, more than 210,00 people will flock to Avalon over the next few days.

With what I will acknowledge is through the slightly biased lens of an Australian and a Victorian, I am proud of the strategic role played by Australia in this region and its influence in long-haul international, and extensive regional, aviation services.

I am proud too of Victoria’s role in our defence industry, in cyber technology, aerospace and unmanned aerial systems.

Above all, I am proud to welcome to the Airshow and Aerospace & Defence Exposition, many of the world’s best innovators, those whose expertise will drive further advancements in cutting edge technology and will nurture the most productive collaborations.

I would like to acknowledge the leadership and vision of the Chairman and board members of Aerospace Australia Limited, Mr Ian Honnery the CEO, and Air Marshal Geoff Shepherd AO (Rtd), the Airshow Convener. Thank you for all that you do to bring this airshow to realisation.

I would also like to acknowledge all those involved in staging this event, most particularly the volunteers, who come from right across the State and from many different backgrounds -drawn together by their passion for aviation.

May I conclude with one request to all those visiting us for this event. As well as engaging with the exciting range of activities at Avalon, please also try to hold some of your important discussions while enjoying the diverse delights of Melbourne’s restaurants, coffee, arts, sports and beautiful parklands. Or, amongst the joys and history of Geelong, its charming waterfront, and the famous Great Ocean Road just beyond.

I wish you all well across the coming days, and now it is my pleasure to invite the Honourable Martin Pakula MP, to address us.