This week the Vice-Regal program focused on Victoria’s significant major events strengths, as well as international engagement. The Governor also issued the Writs for the 2022 State Election of Victoria.
The primary obligation of the Governor is to oversee the workings of the government of the day, including to call an election. This week, the Governor issued the Writs for the 2022 State Election of Victoria. In 2003, the Victorian Constitution was amended such that Members of both Houses of Parliament serve four-year terms and elections occur on the last Saturday in November of the fourth year. On the day on which the Legislative Assembly expires, the Governor must issue writs for elections to the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council.
The Victorian Government is now in a caretaker period and will remain so until the election result is clear, or a new government is commissioned. The business of government and public administration continues throughout the caretaker period. However, the caretaker conventions seek to ensure the government does not take actions during the caretaker period that will bind an incoming government or limit its freedom of action.
Victoria is the major events capital of the nation, including being the home of the internationally renowned Melbourne Cup Spring Racing Carnival. This week, the Governor and Mr Howard hosted the Melbourne Cup Eve Reception at Government House. The annual event is a tradition which dates back to the 1870s, with a reception having been held on the Eve of the Melbourne Cup by many Governors of Victoria. Attendees of the reception had the opportunity to see Twilight Payment, winner of the 2020 Melbourne Cup, in the grounds of Government House; and, following the recent passing of Her Majesty The Late Queen Elizabeth II, a collection of various historical items related to Her Majesty on loan from the Victoria Racing Club. The following day, the Governor and Mr Howard attended the Lexus Melbourne Cup Carnival at Flemington Racecourse.
In 2026, Victoria will host the XXIII Commonwealth Games across five regional centres – Geelong, Bendigo, Ballarat, Gippsland and Shepparton – hosting 20 sports and 9 fully-integrated Para sports. It will mark 20 years since Victoria last held the Games, when Melbourne was host in 2006. The most recent Commonwealth Games, held in Birmingham across July and August of this year, saw Australia finish on top of the medal tally and reach an historic 1000th Commonwealth Games medal when the Diamonds won the netball Gold. In recognition of that success, the Australian Commonwealth Games Team 2022, including athletes and team officials, were awarded the Australian Sports Medal. The team is the first Commonwealth Games Team to receive the Award. The Victorian cohort of the team received their Awards at a reception held at Government House on Thursday. At the reception, the Governor gave an address, speaking of the important place sport has in the Australian psyche, and the contributions of the Awardees to Australia’s ‘excellence as a sporting nation.’ Read more of the Governor’s speech here.
International engagement on behalf of the State continues to be an important aspect of the modern role of the Governor. This week, the Governor welcomed Her Excellency Caroline Kennedy, Ambassador of the United States of America, on her first official visit to Victoria in her role as Ambassador. Later in the week the Governor also welcomed the Hon Arthur Sinodinos AO, Australia’s Ambassador to the United States of America. The United States is a key strategic ally for Australia and trade-partner for Victoria. The meetings provided the opportunity to further advance the already strong Victorian and USA people-to-people and two-way trade connections.
On Monday, the Governor and Mr Howard hosted His Excellency Shingo Yamagami, Ambassador of Japan, and Madame Kaoru Yamagami at Government House. The Governor recently travelled to Japan on an Official Visit at the request of the Victorian Government. The meeting with Ambassador and Madame Yamagami provided an opportunity to discuss the Governor’s recent travels which highlighted the strong and prosperous connection between Victorian and Japan. To learn more about that trip and Victoria and Japan’s shared trade and investment interests, visit here.
Continuing her international engagement duties, the Governor also received the call of Sergio Krsnik Castello, Consul-General of Spain. Mr Castello was recently appointed to the role, and the call served to formally welcome him to Victoria.
During the week, the Governor also toured GP Graders, an award-winning world leader in fruit grading and sorting technology; received the call of Rabbi Yaakov Glasman AM, of the St Kilda Hebrew Congregation; and hosted an Investiture Ceremony for Dylan Alcott AO, athlete and advocate for people living with a disability. Mr Howard also led tours of the State Apartments for the Dylan Alcott Foundation; and Moonee Valley Junior Girls Footballers.