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Introduction

The virtual Vice-Regal program continued this week, while Victoria looks toward the move to the next step in the roadmap toward a ‘COVID-normal'.

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This week the Governor hosted several virtual calls with a variety of community representatives. The Governor was joined by her husband Mr Anthony Howard AM, QC in meeting with the Chair, Executive Director and CEO of Youth Activating Youth, a non-profit organisation which works to assist young disadvantaged multicultural Australians re-engage with their communities.  Youth Activating Youth offers programs designed to assist these young Australians in developing the skills they need to build self-confidence and to create important networks which help to facilitate an active participation in their communities.  To learn more about Youth Activating Youth, visit their website

The Governor also had the opportunity this week to speak with the CEO and Director of Bushfire Recovery Victoria, the dedicated agency established to help local communities recovering from the impacts of last summer’s bushfires.  In January and February of this year the Governor and Mr Howard visited a number of communities who had been affected by the 2019-20 fire season, including Bairnsdale, Mallacoota, Orbost and Sarsfield. On these visits they heard from many brave women and men who worked tirelessly throughout the emergency to protect lives, properties, communities and wildlife. This visits also provided an opportunity for the Governor and Mr Howard to meet with many members of the Victorian community, including local business, property owners and community organisations who had been impacted by the catastrophic fires, and hear firsthand the experiences of those affected. Over the course of the year, on behalf of the people of Victoria, the Governor and Mr Howard have continued to meet with, virtually visit and hear from those communities.  The Governor appreciated the opportunity to speak with Bushfire Recovery Victoria about their work in leading the recovery effort and to hear about the lessons that have been learnt after this devastating bushfire season. For more information on Bushfire Recovery Victoria, visit their website.

Over the course of the last few months, the Governor has been conducting virtual meetings with the Chairs of Victoria’s Regional Development Advisory Committee Partnerships, in order to learn about the innovative programs and projects being initiated in regional Victoria. These virtual meetings have also provided the Governor with an opportunity to hear more about some of the challenges regional Victorian communities are facing, and the creative ways local business in collaboration with local Government are working to overcome them.  This week, the Governor met virtually with the Chair of the Central Highlands Partnership. Stretching from Ararat Rural City to the Moorabool Shire, the Central Highlands region has a population of over 200,000 Victorians, and to date the Central Highlands Partnership has generated many positive outcomes in health, IT and the environment. Learn more about the Central Highlands region of Victoria here.

As Victorians look toward the move to the next step in the roadmap toward a ‘COVID-normal’, and ahead of the Thank You Day public holiday for Victorians after what has been a very difficult time for many across the State, the Governor released a message of thanks to all Victorians. In her message the Governor pays tribute to the many Victorians who have, through their skill, commitment and courage, contributed so much to our community throughout 2020 – to view the message in full click here.