Friday, 2 December 2022

Rod and I are delighted to welcome you all to Government House for this celebration of the end of the academic year and to herald the Festive Season.

We trust you will take time to unwind, chill out, and get to know many more of your fellow students.

We consider this Christmas Garden party an important event in the Government House calendar so that we can celebrate your hard work throughout the year as well as reflect on the life and vibrancy that you, as international students, bring to our city.

We take pride in our multicultural society and the various perspectives that brings. It makes us a stronger and welcoming community.

Last year I met some of you virtually via Facetime as I was isolating in Government House due to COVID restrictions. I wanted to say hello then in the best way possible that I could.

It is good to be here in person this year.

I know that at the height of COVID many students had to study online, but thankfully face-to-face classes are in the most part back although some are continuing online.

While there have been challenges over the past two years, we have all become just that little more resilient, adaptable and responsive to working out ways of getting around obstacles.

Since the borders have reopened, we have been delighted to welcome thousands of new and returning students to Adelaide.

At last we can now travel more freely. I’ve just returned this afternoon to Adelaide from overseas and was determined to be here with you.

On that trip, and an earlier one, it was wonderful to meet alumni from our Adelaide Universities in the United Kingdom, Japan, Singapore and Vietnam. They are making outstanding contributions in their home countries, our region and even globally.

In Singapore I met a venture capitalist who studied economics at the University of Adelaide in the 1980s.  He was a year ahead of me and we fondly recalled our excellent lecturers and tutors from that time.

He had fond memories of his time in our wonderful city and the skills he gained are being put to good use in developing the region.

Through such personal connections and cross-cultural understanding, Rod and I are determined to promote our State and mutually advantageous international opportunities.

I hope you will consider yourselves an integral part of those connections and always leverage your knowledge of our city and our State as you continue to further develop your careers.

For those who have completed your studies, I trust you will come back often with friends and family.

For those who will be continuing to study here, I wish you all the best for next year and hope you will be able to spend time with family or friends over the Christmas break. Some of you have been waiting two years to do so.

For those who will be spending the Summer with us, please know there is a community spirit at this time in Adelaide and there is much to experience, although it’s always hard to be away from family and friends.

I thank Study Adelaide for supporting you during your time with us and connecting you with aspects of our South Australian way of life.

It’s not easy at first to navigate our healthcare system, adjust to another culture, work part-time,manage budgets and keep up with living costs. They are all part of the learning experience.

Friends.

For those who have made a Christmas bauble a little earlier I hope you will keep it with you and each Festive Season dust if off and remember your time with us.

Because we hope you will always consider Adelaide your second home.

Best wishes and Merry Christmas!