The program this week saw the Governor and Mr Howard focus on community engagement, meeting with representatives from a range of organisations.
Community engagement was the focus of this week’s Vice-Regal program. On Thursday, the Governor visited the Country Fire Association’s Victorian Emergency Management Training Centre (VEMTC), located in the Central Highlands. VEMTC campuses are predominantly run by the CFA and provide firefighters and recruits with practical firefighting skills training. Other CFA training sites are located in Wangaratta, Penshurst, Huntly, Bangholme, Longerenong, West Sale and Sunraysia. During the visit, the Governor was given a briefing and tour of the facility and its grounds before observing a training demonstration by CFA volunteers. Over the last several years, the Governor and Mr Howard have met with many CFA volunteers across the State, particularly after times of crisis, such as the recent 2022 October floods, the fires of 2020 and the 10-year anniversary of the 2009 bushfires. Meetings such as these provide an opportunity for the Governor and Mr Howard to thank the CFA for their selfless work on behalf of all Victorians. Learn more about the training facility and CFA volunteering here.
On Tuesday, the Governor and Mr Howard welcomed members of the Consular Corps to Government House for a tour of the State Apartments and Grounds. Members of the Corps in attendance represented a range of countries with important connections to Victoria’s economy and community. The visit was an opportunity for members of the Consular Corps to learn more about the contemporary role of the Governor, including its international engagement component.
Promoting community harmony and acceptance is an important part of the Governor’s role. On Wednesday, the Governor hosted an afternoon tea for members of the Victorian Community Hubs Network. Since 2015, Government House has worked in conjunction with the Victorian Community Hubs on the Government House Peace and Prosperity Kitchen Garden Program. This program creates an opportunity for women of migrant and refugee backgrounds to form social connections, develop an increased sense of belonging in their community and practise their English language skills. Wednesday’s afternoon tea was an opportunity to celebrate the important work of the Victorian Community Hubs Network, and to recognise them receiving the 2022 Victorian Multicultural Commission’s Award for Early Childhood Education.
This week, the Governor also welcomed students from the Diamond Valley Special Developmental School, Greensborough and Whittlesea campuses, and Rosamond Special School for the Government House Scarecrow Program. As part of the program, students from specialist schools around Victoria are invited to create a scarecrow and to then visit Government House, where the Governor officially welcomes their scarecrow into the Peace and Prosperity Kitchen Garden scarecrow family. To learn more about the Government House Scarecrow Program please visit here.
On Thursday, the Governor and Mr Howard hosted a Community Dinner for representatives from across the Victorian community. The dinner was one in a series hosted by the Governor and Mr Howard, aiming to generate collaborative discussion amongst members of different industries and backgrounds. Guests in attendance included representatives from a range of industries including, but not limited to, sport, media, government and publishing.