This week, the Governor met with representatives of defence, health and diplomatic sectors.
This week, Victoria was proud to host the AVALON 2023 Australian International Airshow[PR(1] and Aerospace and Defence Exposition, the largest tradeshow of its kind in the southern hemisphere. Taking place over six days, and hosted from Avalon Airport in Geelong, the event brings together local and international leaders in the aerospace and defence industry to learn about, and collaborate on, the latest developments in the sector. The six-day program culminates in a weekend of activity for members of the public, with round the clock flying displays and tours of some of the most innovative aircraft across the civilian and defence sectors.
To mark the beginning of AVALON 2023, the Governor and Mr Howard hosted the official State Reception, welcoming guests from across the world. Speaking to event organisers, defence personnel, industry representatives, government officials and international guests, the Governor praised the Airshow and Exposition as important elements of Victoria’s major event calendar and a significant contributor to Victoria’s economy. Read the Governor’s speech here. Following official proceedings, a special flying display of one of Leonardo Australia’s helicopters took place on the Western Lawn. Proceeding the reception, the Governor and Mr Howard held a dinner for senior AVALON 2023 officials, military personal and event organisers, welcoming them to Victoria.
Prior to the AVALON 2023 State Reception, the Governor invested Major General Kelvin Khong AO, Singapore Army, as an Honorary Officer of the Order of Australia. Major Khong received his honour in recognition of his distinguished service in fostering the military relationship between the Republic of Singapore and Australia through strategic vision, outstanding personal commitment and exceptional leadership, and in recognition of his role in supporting Australia during times of great need. Honorary appointments in the Order of Australia may be made to people who are not Australian citizens where they have given extraordinary service to Australia or humanity at large.
The Governor and Mr Howard also toured AVALON 2023, hosted by the Royal Australian Airforce and the Aerospace Maritime Defence and Security Foundation of Australia (AMDA). During the visit, the Governor and Mr Howard heard from some of the 780 industry, government, defence and scientific exhibiter companies, where they were able to promote Victoria’s strengths and discuss building further trade and investment ties. The visit also provided an opportunity to tour some of the latest defence and civilian aircraft and view an impressive air display conducted by F-22 Raptor fighter jets flown by the United States Air Force.
On Wednesday, the Governor and Mr Howard hosted a lunch for the Melbourne Indigenous Transition School, a specialist boarding school that delivers a Year 7-8 program to Indigenous students from remote and regional communities in the Northern Territory and Victoria. The lunch was an opportunity to hear from recent graduates on their experience of the MITS program and learn more about the unique challenges faced by the school. Following the lunch, Mr Howard took a group of MITS students on a tour of the State Apartments. On the tour, students learnt about the history of Government House and the Governor’s contemporary role. At the conclusion of the tour the Governor joined students on the Western Lawn for an AFL footy kick to kick.
On Sunday, the Governor attended the Islamic Council of Victoria’s, Victorian Mosque Open Day. Beginning in 2017, the Mosque Open Day project is an annual event that aims to encourage understanding and unity between all Victorians regardless of faith. Visitors are invited to attend participating mosques and take part in a range of activities including guided tours, hijab tutorials, henna tattoo art and discussions about Islamic beliefs. Speaking to attendees, the Governor commended organisers for their support of Victoria’s vibrant multiculturalism. Read the Governor’s speech here.
Throughout her term, support for the creative industries has remained an important priority for the Governor and Mr Howard, and on Thursday they were delighted to attend the Ed Sheeran concert at the MCG, as guests of the Melbourne Cricket Club. The concert attracted a record number of attendees, attracting over 100,000 local, interstate and international visitors.
During the week, the Governor was delighted to meet with a number of new Heads of Mission on their first official visits to Victoria. This included visits from His Excellency Mr Anil Kumar Nayar, High Commissioner of Singapore and Mrs Sasha Peck See Nayar, His Excellency Mr Marko Ham, Ambassador of Slovenia and Her Excellency, Ms Anne Grete Riise, Ambassador of Norway. The Governor also received calls from Her Excellency, Vicki Treadell CMG MVO, High Commissioner of the United Kingdom, Sonja Hood, CEO of Community Hubs as well as Ms Jane Martino, Co-Founder and Dr Addie Wooten, Chief Executive Officer of Smiling Mind. Together with Mr Howard, the Governor also received the call of Adjunct Professor Glen Noonan, CEO of Diabetes Victoria.
On Tuesday, Mr Howard led a group of the Combined Mornington Probus Group on a tour of the State Apartments.