Friday, 4 November 2022

Welcome to Government House this afternoon in celebration of the In Other Words program, as part of OzAsia Festival.

Many of you have travelled from interstate or overseas to take part in the festival, and I thank you for joining us.

Congratulations to OzAsia Festival on reaching 15 years in 2022.

I’ve been delighted to watch the festival grow from humble beginnings, into Australia’s leading contemporary arts festival engaging with Asia.

This is testament to the strong leadership of its Director, Annette Shun Wah, predecessor Joseph Mitchell and everyone at the Adelaide Festival Centre, as well as the South Australian public, who have embraced this festival and everything it has to offer.

Friends,

As a career diplomat, I served in Asia for twelve years, as well as making frequent visits over nearly 40 years to countries in the Indo-Pacific, where I gained an appreciation of the region’s cultural richness and diversity.

I feel a genuine connection with Asia and the artistic interplay between and within regions.

One of the great strengths of OzAsia, as I have seen, is the role it plays in strengthening ties between Australia and Asia.

The festival reminds us not only of the importance of human connections and personal ties to broader bilateral relationships, but how arts and culture can play a profound role in this process.

The In Other Words program, with its breadth of writers and speakers, facilitates the sharing of deep personal knowledge, experience and a sense of self, all important catalysts in forging of friendships that transcend borders.

I congratulate Jennifer Wong on the stellar group of writers she has assembled.

I am trying to fit in as many sessions as I can before I leave on Sunday morning for my first official visit overseas as Governor to Singapore and Vietnam.

I greatly enjoyed this morning’s Business Breakfast with Karen Loon and Ming Long, on fostering culturally diverse leadership in organisations. Their insights deserve to be shared more widely among leaders in all sectors in South Australia.

And I am looking forward to tomorrow’s panel sessions on politics and the changing face of leadership in Australia, and the nature of reporting on China and Chinese Australians.

Thank you to all speakers for coming to Adelaide and supporting OzAsia, by sharing your thoughts and stories as part of the In Other Words program.

I hope your participation in the festival is fruitful for your own careers, and that you find time to explore our city and surrounds.

You can sample some of our outstanding food and wine at the Lucky Dumping Market, and branch out from there!

I thank Douglas Gautier and his team at the Adelaide Festival Centre for pursuing their mission of ‘Arts for all’, embracing our city’s multicultural heritage and community, and reflecting this back to South Australians in acts of celebration and exploration.

I wish you all a wonderful weekend of exploring words and ideas.