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This week, the Vice-Regal program focused on engaging Victorians from a range of sectors including the creative arts, industry and research.


The Vice-Regal program this week commenced with the Governor and Mr Howard attending the 2023 PayPal Melbourne Fashion Festival Utopia Runway. Described as ‘fashion escapism,’ the Utopia Runway was held at the Royal Exhibition Building and focused on Australian contemporary designers. In February, the Governor and Mr Howard hosted the launch event of the 2023 PayPal Melbourne Fashion Festival at Government House. This is an annual event that marks the beginning of the Festival and brings together representatives from across the fashion industry. Supporting Victoria’s creative sector is a priority for the Governor and, both Vice-Regals enjoyed the opportunity to continue the relationship between Government House and the PayPal Melbourne Fashion Festival. Learn more about the Festival and its aims here.

On Tuesday, the Governor and Mr Howard were delighted to host a public lecture on Women’s Health. A Healthy Future for Girls and Women was the latest instalment in the Governor’s Lecture Series that has covered a variety of topics including global health, men’s health, children’s health and mental health. The panel was drawn from the Royal Women’s Hospital and included Professor Marie-Paule Austin, Dr Tanaka Dune, Associate Professor Michelle Peate, with Acting CEO of the Royal Women’s Hospital Lisa Lynch as moderator. Several important topics were discussed including endometriosis, fertility, menopause, and incontinence. Speaking at the event, the Governor congratulated the Royal Women’s Hospital on its long history in advancing women’s health and emphasised the need to continue the conversation surrounding these important issues. Read the Governor’s speech here.

This year marks the 48th International Women’s Day since its adoption by the United Nations in 1975. Across the Governor’s term, both Vice-Regals have attended and hosted a wide range of International Women’s Day events in both local and international settings. On Wednesday, the Governor and Mr Howard hosted a lunch at Government House to mark International Women’s Day and acknowledge the work of several impressive Victorian women. Guests represented many important sectors in Victoria including the creative arts, advocacy, sport, healthcare, academia, and law. Speaking to attendees, the Governor thanked guests for their leadership and congratulated them on their contributions towards the achievement of parity. Read more of the Governor’s speech here.

This week, Mr Howard led a tour of the State Apartments for participants of the Victorian Government Graduate Program, Summer Internships and Youth Employment Scheme Traineeships. The tour was one of several Mr Howard has given to Graduates of different Victorian Government programs and was an opportunity for incoming public servants to learn about the Governor’s contemporary role.

Support for the performing arts remains an important priority for the Governor. On Thursday, the Governor and Mr Howard attended the Opening Night of &Juliet. Drawing inspiration from Shakespeare’s classic, the musical explores what could have happened in Juliet’s life if the story ended differently. &Juliet is produced by the Michael Cassel Group. Michael Cassel AM has worked on several Australian productions including Hamilton, Mary Poppins, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and The Phantom of the Opera. Later in the week, the Governor and Mr Howard were delighted to host Mr Cassel for lunch to further discuss Melbourne’s creative arts industry and the future of live performance in Victoria.

On Friday, the Governor visited the Australian Synchrotron. The Synchrotron is a major research facility located in the Melbourne suburb of Clayton. Located next to Monash University, the Synchrotron is one of Australia’s most significant pieces of scientific infrastructure. It is also Australia’s only Synchrotron and the largest in the Southern Hemisphere. Through the use of leading technology, the Synchrotron produces powerful beams of light to examine the molecular and atomic details of a wide range of materials. These experiments provide valuable information in research relating to health and medicine, energy, agriculture, nanotechnology, and environmental science.

Supporting the diversity and multiculturalism of Victoria is an important component of the Governor’s contemporary role. On Thursday, the Governor visited the St Kilda Shule and received the Anniversary Book celebrating 150 years of the St Kilda Hebrew Congregation. The Governor was delighted to have written a message for the Anniversary Book, acknowledging the important work the Congregation has done in service of its community and the contribution it has made to the rich multicultural life of our State.  

During the week, the Governor visited the Port of Melbourne, Australia’s largest capital city container and general cargo port. The Port handles more than one-third of the nations’ container trade and is home to Australia’s first fully automated international container terminal. During the visit, the Governor also heard more about the Port’s land infrastructure 2050 plan.

On Thursday, the Governor presided at a special Executive Council Meeting at Government House.

Throughout the week, the Governor also received the calls of Lissa Twomey, Executive Director of the Australian Ballet, Dr Anies Baswedan, former Governor of Jakarta, and The Honourable William Alstergren AO, Chief Justice of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia.