Saturday, 14 January 2023
It is my pleasure to join you this evening for the opening ceremony of the Adelaide Tết Festival and to celebrate the coming of the Lunar New Year, as we enter the Year of the Cat.
As a diplomat who has spent years living in Asia, I have fond memories of celebrating the Lunar New Year and I’m pleased to continue this tradition in South Australia.
Although I have never celebrated Tết in Vietnam, I have travelled there over the years.
Like most people who visit the country, I was deeply impressed by its people, food and natural landscape.
Professionally, I came to value the country’s relationship with Australia and the many opportunities to strengthen our ties.
In November last year I was pleased to travel overseas for the first time in my capacity as Governor, visiting several countries including Vietnam, and promoting South Australia’s world class education, food and wine.
The longevity and growing popularity of the Adelaide Tết Festival is testament to the vision and hard work of both the SA Chapter of the Vietnamese Community in Australia and the Vietnamese Catholic Community SA.
I thank the Presidents and committee members of these organisations for bringing together the 2023 festival, which is expected to attract more than 6000 people over the next two days.
In addition to giving Vietnamese South Australians a place to collaborate and celebrate a culturally significant day, the Tết festival is a wonderful way to share Vietnamese culture and traditions with South Australians of all walks of life.
Vietnamese food is without doubt the aspect of Vietnamese culture that has permeated most deeply into Australian life, and I’m sure there will be many visitors here seeking out the very best phở and bánh mì as well as, for Tết, bánh chưng.
Of course, food is just one of many attractions here this evening, including live cultural performances, rides and games.
I’m also pleased to see that local business, individuals and organisations have the opportunity to promote their products and services to the wider community here at the festival.
I thank the SA Chapter of the Vietnamese Community in Australia, and the Vietnamese Catholic Community SA, for their strong support of the local Vietnamese community, and in more recent years, new arrivals from other parts of the world, including Africa, the Middle East and the South Asia.
This demonstrates outstanding generosity and heart and makes excellent use of the accumulated knowledge and wisdom the community has developed over the years, as its members have built their own lives in South Australia.
On my regular walks from Government House to the River Torrens, I pass by the Vietnamese Boat People Monument on Victoria Drive.
It’s a striking reminder of the extremely challenging conditions under which Vietnamese people first arrived in Australia, and the outstanding contribution the Vietnamese community has gone on to make in our state.
Congratulations to all on the success of the Adelaide Tết Festival, and I wish everyone a wonderful festival!
Chúc Mừng Năm Mới!