The Governor of Victoria's speech for the Youth Leaders Reception with TRH The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.


Your Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex
The Hon. Daniel Andrews MP, Premier of Victoria and Mrs Catherine Andrews
Distinguished guests
Ladies and gentlemen

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 today.

My husband, Tony, and I welcome everyone here with us and, of course, we offer a particularly warm welcome to our special visitors, Their Royal Highnesses, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

I am delighted to welcome you both to Victoria, a State that is known as a hub of knowledge and innovation, and celebrated for the diversity of our community, being home to people who have come from some 200 different countries.

I am keen to mention that Melbourne is ranked as one of the most liveable cities in the world, and is renowned for its beautiful public gardens and major sporting and cultural events. 

It is also the most rapidly growing city in Australia, expected soon to be our nation’s largest.

Do I sound like the proud Governor of Victoria? Of course, I do. And of course, I am.

But never prouder than today, when I look across this beautiful ballroom and I see the future of our State, represented by so many brilliant, innovative and generous spirited young people.

Seeing and knowing the depth of talent amongst our young Victorians is nothing new to us. Tony and I are fortunate to encounter it every day, in every part of our State and in every area of endeavour.

But we thank Your Royal Highnesses, whose visit has been the catalyst to gather this talent, and this promise, with us today at Government House.

You have already met some of our brightest innovators, and some of the women who, through the ‘This Girl Can’ Campaign-Victoria, so ably display the strength and resilience built on a healthy and active lifestyle.

The young leaders we have gathered here today represent our students, our regions and our multicultural communities.

They represent our farmers, our professionals, our armed and emergency services, our entrepreneurs, our trades, the sports, creative industries and our social enterprises.

They represent a multitude of community groups, that work or volunteer with great dedication to offer land care, to help settle new arrivals or to extend a helping hand to those who might be doing it tough. 

And they represent just the tip of an iceberg of talent upon which we shall rely as our State grows.

Victoria, as well as the wider global community, needs their commitment and wisdom to meet the challenges of keeping our planet clean and safe, clever and harmonious.

You may all have noticed that the flag that flies atop Government House – the Governor’s Standard – is golden in colour. It was designed to represent Victoria’s golden past and our golden future.

The golden past particularly refers to the Gold Rush of the 19th century to which much of the bounty of our modern State owes its existence.

But there is no doubt in my mind that all of you gathered here this morning, as well as those whom you represent, are truly the faces of our golden future.

You are the ones who will ensure the ‘Peace and Prosperity’ that is our State motto.

We do know, Your Royal Highnesses, just how busy your schedule is during this visit and so we are particularly pleased that you have the opportunity to spend time with us here in Victoria, and at Government House.

We wish you well in your travels, and in your important roles in the upcoming Invictus Games.

We hope that this may be the first of many visits to Victoria for you and for your growing family.