Monday, 14 November 2022

Rod and I are very pleased to welcome you all to Government House.

This evening we celebrate the ‘top 10’ students who have received an award with distinction in the 2022 Order of Australia Association Student Citizenship Awards.

Congratulations to all of you!

I note a number of other students have been nominated for a Student Citizenship Award Certificate, and they will receive their awards at school functions and assemblies later this year.

Students, before my appointment as Governor, just over a year ago, I was a career diplomat.

It gave me the opportunity to travel around the world and learn a little of what life was like for citizens of different countries.

These experiences gave me a strong appreciation of the many benefits and privileges we enjoy as Australians.

As Governor, it has been my great pleasure to meet hundreds, if not thousands, of secondary students in the first year of my role, during school visits or events here at Government House.

I often speak with them on the topics of civics and leadership.

I have been impressed by the understanding students have of these benefits and privileges, and their commitment to providing support to their communities and to broader issues, such as combating climate change.

As our ‘top 10’ awardees, you are outstanding among your peers in terms of leadership, service to others and contribution to the environment and community development.

I congratulate all of our winners for being identified by your schools as young leaders, and for taking on extracurricular activities during your senior years of school, which can be a challenge to balance with your other commitments.

I thank your parents, many of whom I’m glad to see are here today, for providing the home environment that encourages and supports such work.

And I thank the many dedicated teachers who have researched and prepared nominations for their students.

I am very pleased that nominations for these awards are now back to pre-pandemic levels.

This year 49 nominations from 38 schools were received, which reflects the commitment of many teachers who dedicated time, outside of their extremely busy schedules, to nominate their students.

In 2022, just one of our awardees with distinction is from a country school.

No doubt the Order of Australia Association welcomes applications from country schools. I look forward to seeing more in the future and, as the Association’s patron, will actively seek to encourage them.

Since 2003, the Order of Australia Association has run the Student Citizenship Awards, its flagship program, with great dedication and enthusiasm.

This year more than 30 Association members have been directly supporting the awards program, and I thank them for donating their time to this worthy activity.

To our award recipients, congratulations once again.

I wish you every success for your future studies and community activities.

I encourage you to continue to develop your leadership and I hope to see you again at Government House one day!