Feature Image

Speech given by the Governor at the Australian International Airshow Reception.


First, I acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which we gather – the Wurundjeri and Bunurong People of the Kulin Nation – and pay my respects to their Elders, past and present, and to Elders of other communities who may be with us.

Tony and I are delighted to welcome you all to Government House to mark the return of the Australian International Airshow.

We’d particularly like to welcome the many guests visiting us from overseas, some of whom we have met on their home soil during our official visits during 2022.

Welcome too to the guests from interstate. Let me explain, for the benefit of our international guests, that the Airshow is one example of the friendly rivalry that exists between our states.

In that light, I can say that an event that began as a modest community initiative at the Schofields Flying Club in New South Wales, has been, for decades now, a highlight of Victoria’s major events calendar.

And we are proud here in Victoria that, today, the Australian International Airshow is the largest aviation, aerospace and defence exposition in the Southern Hemisphere.

And, I hope that I am not showing too much bias, as the Governor of Victoria, if I say that, with our State’s world-class aerospace design credentials, engineering and advanced manufacturing capabilities, university and industry R and D collaborations – supported by our highly skilled workforce – I think that Victoria is a natural host for this vibrant Show and Exposition.

And it IS a vibrant Show!

An expected 38,000 plus will attend the dedicated trade and industry sessions to discuss the latest opportunities in civil aviation, air transport, aerospace, defence, and the military.  

But, much of the event’s success is also due to the ongoing enthusiasm of the Victorian and visiting public.

I love the fact that the Airshow attracts more than 200,000 visitors.

Families will watch in wonder at the aerobatics and laser shows of Friday Night Alight.

But, importantly, whether then or across the other days of the Airshow, they will be inspired to learn more about potential careers in this exciting sector, a career with the Royal Australian Air Force or in STEM studies more broadly.

The Airshow has been one of the highlights during my time as Governor. Tony and I look forward to attending again this year and we welcome its strong return.

Such a return would not be possible without the hard work of many of you here tonight.

A special thank you to the Chairman, Vice Admiral Chris Ritchie AO RAN (Rtd), and board members of AMDA Foundation Limited, CEO, Justin Giddings and Airshow Convenor, Air Marshal Geoff Shepherd AO (Rtd), for continuing to support Australia’s aviation and aerospace capabilities.

Thank you also, to the army of volunteers who are at the heart of making each Airshow possible.

Finally, I do hope that those visiting us for this event may have the opportunity to explore the many offerings of our State.

Perhaps attend a performance at one of Melbourne’s theatres, explore the NGV’s fantastic shows and collection, sample the restaurants – or simply enjoy a cup of our famous coffee.

Alternatively, if historic waterfronts and spectacular coastlines are of greater interest, may I suggest a visit to nearby Geelong and on to the Great Ocean Road.

But so far as this evening is concerned, we hope that you will relax and enjoy your time with us. We do have a particular treat for you, to be explained shortly.  

But right now, it is my pleasure to invite the Treasurer to speak.