Monday, 5 December 2022

Rod and I warmly welcome everyone to Government House today to mark this important milestone and offer our congratulations to those who have finished Year 12.

We are delighted to host this reception here. It is a grand place, but a welcoming place and a wonderful location to say to you all: well done!

Completing school is a significant time. In many ways it is a turning point that leads onto the next stages of your lives. I remember it well.

It’s a big achievement. You have studied hard, overcome not only personal challenges, but challenges that have had an impact on our community, such as the pandemic.

You have come through perhaps one of the most difficult academic years and shown you have what it takes to get to the endpoint.

Be very proud of what you have done, because we are proud of you.

As you go through life there will be many more milestones and challenges, but your education will be a firm foundation for the future.

Some of you may already know where to from here, others may still be considering which path to take next, whether that’s more study, employment or down time to consider what’s next.

When I was your age, I didn’t have a firm roadmap to decide what was ahead.

I knew I wanted to go to University and began studying economics and law. I soon decided law wasn’t for me and let it go.

After graduating, I went to Canberra to join the Department of Foreign Affairs and this led me to a long career as a diplomat representing Australia all over the world.

Now I have the honour to be Governor. When I was at school I would never have dreamed this could be possible and it certainly wasn’t on my radar.

I share this with you to show that no-one knows exactly where they will end up. Hopes and dreams change. The journey has many twists and the road can sometimes make an unexpected turn.

However, at all stages in my life, I discovered the prospects that saying “Yes” when presented with opportunities can bring.

Saying Yes to the job that you hadn’t really thought about but will never-the-less bring valuable experience.

Saying “Yes” to volunteering opportunities that enable you to give back to your community and be engaged citizens. It’s a great feeling.

Saying “Yes” to sharing ideas and considering the opinions of others.

You are a group of young people who have overcome obstacles and have much to offer.

You have all been learning since the day you were born and I hope as you further navigate life that you will draw on the experiences you have gained and stay connected with each other and with those who have supported you. Because connections bring strength.

I hope to see you all at Government House again, perhaps at one of our Lunch on the Lawns events over Summer and autumn where you can come into the grounds on the first Friday of the month.

It’s just one way Rod and I are inviting more South Australians to experience Government House.

Again, congratulations on completing Year 12. You have laid the foundations now to be what you want to be because it is within you to be who and what you want to be.

Rod and I wish you all the best for the future.