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This week the Governor hosted the annual January Open Day and attended the Australian Open Finals.


On Thursday, the Governor welcomed Victorians back to Government House for the return of the annual January Open Day. Due to the COVID Pandemic, the event had not been held since the beginning of 2020. Open Day is an opportunity for Victorians, and those visiting the state, to explore the State Apartments and historic grounds while also enjoying a program of performances and activities.

During the day, some 15,000 visitors were entertained by a collection of local talent including the Zimboyz, Jay Laga’aia and the Choir of Hard Knocks. Other activities were provided by a collection of Victorian organisations including Tennis Victoria, St John Ambulance, Collingwood Children’s Farm and Museums Victoria. Food vendors reflected the diversity of the Victorian community including Sikh Volunteers Australia Inc., Nem and Nem Food Truck and the Melbourne Paella Company.

This week the Governor and Mr Howard, at the request of the Victorian Government, hosted the annual Australia Day Flag Raising Ceremony. The ceremony marks the commencement of Australia Day and includes an inspection of the Australian Defence Force Tri-Service Royal Guard of Honour. This year, the event was attended by representatives from the emergency services, diplomatic corps and armed forces. The Governor’s official Australia Day speech can be viewed here.

On Tuesday, the Governor and Mr Howard visited Melbourne Zoo. The Governor is the Patron of Zoos Victoria and hosted a reception at Government House in 2022 to celebrate its 160-year anniversary. The Governor and Mr Howard visited the giraffe and elephant enclosures and heard from Melbourne Zoo staff about the success of the elephant breeding program. Staff also explained the Zoo’s approach to giraffe training and care. Learn more about Melbourne Zoo’s conservation efforts here.

On Wednesday, the Governor attended the site of the St Kilda Pier Redevelopment. More than 800,000 people visit St Kilda Pier each year. The redevelopment project will provide improved recreational spaces and facilities, allowing more visitors to enjoy the pier and its views.

International engagement on behalf of the state continues to be an important aspect of the modern role of the Governor. This week, the Governor was delighted to receive the call of Mr Changhoon Yi, Consul-General of the Republic of Korea. The call was an opportunity to further advance Victorian and Korean connections and to welcome the Consul General, who has recently commenced his posting.

Over the weekend, the Governor and Mr Howard attended the Women’s final of the Australian Open, a premier sporting event on Victoria’s major events and sporting calendar. The Australian Open marks the start of Victoria's packed calendar of international sporting events including the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, Super Rugby's Super Round Melbourne, Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix, Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, Bledisloe Cup and FIFA Women's World Cup 2023. First held in 1905 as the Australasian championships, the Australian Open has grown to become one of the biggest sporting events in the Southern Hemisphere.