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Speech given by the Governor at the Good Friday Appeal - 90 Years of Giving Morning Tea


First, I acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land upon which we are gathering, and I pay my respects to their Elders past and present and to any Elders here with us this morning.

Tony and I are delighted to welcome you to Government House to celebrate the Good Friday Appeal, and to show our gratitude to all those connected with its 90 Years of Giving.

Exactly one year ago, when we gathered here to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the Royal Children’s Hospital, I spoke of the fact that it was difficult to imagine any Victorians who have not been touched somehow by this hospital and its expert care – if not for ourselves or our own children, then at least for children we know.

This year, as we gather to celebrate the remarkable milestone of the 90th anniversary of the Good Friday Appeal, I think I can again say that it is hard to imagine any Victorian who has not been involved, whether on the giving or receiving end of a fund-raiser, a rattled tin, a sausage sizzle or a pledge on TV.

This is an anniversary that goes to the heart of our community. Many have given so very much.

Today, we say ‘Thank you’, acknowledging that each one of you here represents thousands of others. You cover every aspect of this remarkable Good Friday Appeal family.

Amongst you, are past and present RCH, RCH Foundation and Appeal Board members and staff, corporate and media partners, community groups, fundraisers and some of the 100,000 volunteers who, every year, step up for the kids.

This year, we shall see funds added to the more than $380 million already raised. That means contributions to more ground-breaking research, equipment and technology, and for more programs to support sick children and young people, and their families.

But we shall see more than that. This is an effort that brings people together, giving not only money, but also a generous commitment of time and expertise. All for a common good. And haven’t the events of this last year shown us just how strong we can be with a common focus!

I am certain that the small group of Herald & Weekly Times’ Sporting Globe writers and sportsmen who, in 1931, ran a sports carnival to raise £450, could never have imagined the sustained success of this Appeal.

It is heartening to note how many people, groups and companies have been a significant part of that success and the longevity of it.

Of course we recognise the Murdoch family’s long-term commitment, the baton now in the capable hands of Herald & Weekly Times and Appeal Chairman, Penny Fowler. Anyone who knows Penny knows that she brings unparalleled warmth and empathy as well as great skill to the task.

When it comes to others who have been involved in the long-term, I must be careful. It is too easy to leave people out. May I just note that Channel 7 has broadcast the Appeal for nearly 65 of the Appeal’s 90 years, and amongst all those who have committed for decades, NAB, Telstra, the CFA and Uncle Bob’s Club have each been involved for more than 70 years!

Thank you everyone for what you – with the Victorian Government – help to achieve for the children of Victoria, and beyond, who are able to be cared for with the world-class facilities and staff at the RCH. 

It is a pleasure for us to kick-off the calendar of events leading up to the 90th Good Friday Appeal today at Government House. Please relax and enjoy your morning tea.

Tony and I will look forward to chatting with you shortly. But first I am pleased to invite the Parliamentary Secretary to address us.