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Introduction

Speech given by the Governor at the Pipe Bands Victoria Concert, the latest in the Governor's Performance Series held at Government House.

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First, I acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which we are gathering, and I pay my respects to their Elders, past and present, and to Elders of other communities who may be with us this evening.

Tony and I are delighted to welcome you all to Government House for the Pipe Bands Victoria Concert as a part of this year’s Governor’s Performance Series.

This Series is dear to us. It builds on the recital series held during the time of previous Governors.

Indeed, musical performances and recitals have always been a part of life at Government House. In the earliest days, it was often the Governor’s family who performed for guests. You might be relieved to know that it is not a tradition that Tony and I have followed!

Instead, we have tried to showcase a broad range of our State’s creative talent. Amongst the musical genres, we have included a brass band, an Indigenous children’s choir and a rock band. But we have ventured further to feature, for example, a circus performance and ballroom dancing.

These performances are dear to us too because they enable us to welcome many Victorians who otherwise might not have visited Government House.

It is a particular pleasure for us to be able to host you this evening, as Victoria reopens and is reinvigorated after pandemic lockdowns.

It is of course this performance that we are especially delighted to present.

What a treat for us to welcome a collection of bands from Pipe Bands Victoria.

Pipe bands have a long history in our State. Although the oldest have celebrated their centenaries, Highland Gatherings in fact go back to the 1850s. And Victoria can boast one of the oldest pipe band associations in the world.

Today, there are some 40 pipe bands in Victoria, performing all over our State, in contests, to entertain the public, and at important events, such as Anzac Day commemorations.

A warm thank you to everyone at Pipe Bands Victoria for all that you do for the pipe bands of Victoria, and thank you to Karen Wallace and all those who have worked so hard with Government House to bring this event to reality.

Of course, the warmest of thanks goes to this evening’s performers – some 130 in total. We are delighted to welcome them.

We hope you will all enjoy the performance, and your time here at Government House.

Shortly, we will hand over to the MC of the performance, Mr Stephen Matthews. Stephen has connections to most of the bands performing this evening, including almost 10 years as a lead drummer with the 5th/6th Royal Victoria Regiment Pipes and Drums, the regiment of which I am the proud Representative Colonel.

BUT first, I have the pleasure to ask the Chieftain of Pipe Bands Victoria, the Honourable Ted Baillieu AO, to say a few words.