Thursday, 25 November 2021

Good evening everyone. Rod and I are pleased to be here tonight and it’s a particular pleasure for me as Patron of the Governor’s Leadership Foundation at what is really the start of our leadership journey together.

Like Sir Eric Neal, Marjorie Jackson-Nelson, Kevin Scarce and Hieu Van Le before me, I am looking forward to contributing as Governor to the work of the GLF as it develops South Australia’s leaders, challenges their thinking, broadens perspectives and encourages foresight.

I have spoken to each of my predecessors in recent weeks and know how strongly supportive they remain of the GLF.

I congratulate you all on successfully completing this course during such challenging times.  I am sure you will all agree it was a privilege to hear Emma’s reflections on behalf of this year’s GLFers.

Since you first came together in February, there has been international and domestic disruption as the COVID-19 pandemic has continued to run its course.

We’ve been starkly reminded of the importance of leadership, and of resilience.

The past 18 months has taught us that, as leaders, we need to anticipate that the pathway to success might not be one of continuous upward trajectory.

The reality of progress can be very different.

Some of us – and when I say ‘us’ I include myself - have experienced disappointments, setbacks and challenges.

Some of us have had to change tack and adjust the way we lead.

We may have had to put projects on hold.

Our own health – physical and mental may have been tested.

As a community we have had to give greater attention to mental health issues and to overall wellbeing.

We’ve found new ways of working and attaining our goals and we’ve also come to understand better the value of diverse and inclusive teams.

As I remarked at my swearing‑in, I saw very clearly in my former role as Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the many practical benefits to Australia as the Department became more representative of our nation’s diversity.

As leaders you have the opportunity to create a culture within your own spheres of influence where by a range of skills and perspectives can contribute to your organisation’s success.

I encourage you also to think beyond our borders and reflect on how as South Australians we can develop our international links and harness opportunities through our multicultural society.

As leaders, our influence is much wider than the boardroom or office. Leaders help shape the community in which we operate, as your Community Action Projects have demonstrated.

I congratulate the Leaders Institute for its stewardship of the Governor’s Leadership Foundation in developing the wisdom, foresight and self-awareness required for our leaders to take this State forward.

To the graduates and the growing Alumni body, I urge you to grow  your network well into the future; you are a valuable asset for South Australia and the returns from your collaboration will be significant.

I encourage you to continue to reflect on and discuss with each other how you can bring humanity, integrity and authenticity to your leadership and how you can build respectful workplaces; places where people feel they belong, where diversity and inclusion are championed and everyone can reach their potential.

Congratulations GLFers and well done!

Her Excellency the Honourable Frances Adamson AC

GOVERNOR OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA