This week, the Governor and Mr Howard met with representatives from a range of sectors including research, sport and community organisations.
On Tuesday, the Governor and Mr Howard hosted an afternoon tea for some of the many Victorians who celebrated their platinum wedding anniversary in 2022 and 2023. Each of the couples attending had previously received a congratulatory letter from the Governor in recognition of their achievement of 70 years of marriage. In the room, there was a combined 1,890 years of marriage. Speaking to guests, the Governor reflected on what had changed in Australia across the last 70 years and invited couples to share their wisdom on the keys to a long and successful marriage. Read the Governor’s speech here. Among guests were Holocaust survivors Abram and Cesia Goldberg who spoke to the Governor about their experiences of marriage. Listen to their interview with ABC Radio here.
Community engagement remains an important component of the Governor’s program. On Saturday, the Governor and Mr Howard presented the annual Queen’s Scout, Queen’s Guide and Baden-Powell Awards at Government House. As Patron of Scouts Victoria and President of Girl Guides Victoria, the Governor gave a speech to recipients and guests following the awards presentations, noting the significance of this year’s presentation as the last of the Queen’s Scouts and Guides following the passing of Her Majesty, The Late Queen Elizabeth II, last year. The Governor congratulated recipients on their awards and thanked them for their contribution to the Victorian community. Read more of the Governor’s speech here.
This year marks the 70th anniversary since the Australian Grand Prix was first held at the Albert Park Circuit. On Thursday, the Governor and Mr Howard hosted a welcome reception for the 2023 Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix. The welcome reception is an annual event held at Government House. Speaking to guests, the Governor reflected on the importance of the Grand Prix within Victoria’s major events calendar and thanked Andrew Westacott for his contribution to the Australian Grand Prix Corporation in his last year as CEO. Read more of the Governor’s speech here. Following the reception, the Governor and Mr Howard hosted a dinner for key local and international stakeholders of the Australian Grand Prix. On Sunday, the Governor and Mr Howard attended the Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix.
On Wednesday, Mr Howard led Australian and Global Politics VCE students of St Catherine’s School on a tour of the State Apartments before the Governor hosted them for a Q&A session. The visit provided an opportunity for students to learn more about the contemporary role of the Governor.
On Thursday, the Governor visited the 2023 Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show. The Show is the largest horticultural festival in the Southern Hemisphere and is held at the Royal Exhibition Building and in Carlton Gardens. During the visit, the Governor met with designers from a variety of exhibitions before being given a briefing and tour of the floral displays. Find out more about the Show’s exhibitions here.
Sport plays an important role in Victoria’s community as well as its major events calendar. On Saturday, the Governor and Mr Howard attended the St Kilda Football Club Hall of Fame Event followed by the St Kilda vs Essendon Football Club match, marking 150 years since the founding of the St Kilda Football Club. During the event, former St Kilda player, Bill Mohr, was elevated to Legend Status before Leigh Montanga and Nick Dal Santo were announced as Hall of Fame inductees.
On Friday, the Governor visited the Melbourne Biomedical Precinct. Previous visits to the Precinct have provided important opportunities for the Governor to learn more about the vital research conducted at Melbourne University. During this visit, the Governor was given a briefing on the Australian Institute for Infectious Disease and Cumming Global Centre for Pandemic Therapeutics. The Centre aims to fast-track the design and development of treatments for pathogens of pandemic potential. The Governor was also briefed on the Collaborative Centre for Mental Health, Dementia Centre, Collaborative Practice and Learning Centre and Digital Command Centre as well as the CSL-WEHI-UoM Incubator. Following the briefings, the Governor was given a tour of the Digital Health Validitron in the Centre for Digital Transformation of Health.
Throughout the week, the Governor received the call of Dr Philip Bliss OAM, President of Progressive Judaism Victoria; and the Right Honourable the Lord Johnson of Lainston CBE, Minister of State for the United Kingdom’s Department for Business and Trade; and Tim Kane, Victorian State Director of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The Governor also welcomed His Excellency Mr Amir Maimon, Ambassador of Israel to Government House.