Thursday, 24 February 2022

Rod and I warmly welcome you to Government House this evening for the official launch of the Governor’s Leadership Foundation Program for 2022.

Strong and strategic leadership has been of great interest to South Australians since our first Governor, Captain John Hindmarsh, first set foot on this soil on 28 December 1836.

160 years later the Governor of the day, Sir Eric Neal, took this to the next level, working with the Leaders Institute to create the Governor’s Leadership Foundation.

It is my great pleasure to be patron of the GLF and to continue the fine tradition of support offered by my distinguished predecessors.

Fostering our State’s leadership, now and for future generations, is one my key focus areas as Governor.

Having recently returned to South Australia after many years overseas, and in Canberra, I have a real sense of optimism for our state.

While, like all states, South Australia has challenges to overcome, some linked to the pandemic, there are tremendous opportunities here.

South Australia is also home to considerable talent, including all of you.

This talent needs to be nurtured and supported, and I am grateful to the Leaders Institute for the vital role it plays in this process.

The GLF is known for the depth and breadth of its program, and for challenging the thinking of its participants.

I thank the Leaders Institute for its stewardship of this program in developing the skills required for our leaders to take this State forward.

The GLF is also a wonderful opportunity for participants to network and build relationships with one another.

I saw this first‑hand when I attended my first graduation ceremony in November last year.

The special dynamic among the group was striking.

The participants had clearly developed close connections and friendships.

The esprit de corps and cohesion of the group was heartening.

I also notice this spirit in alumni of the program, many of whom I have had the pleasure of meeting in my first months as Governor.

People go out of their way to let me know they have done the GLF and how much it meant to them, both professionally and personally.

As leaders you have the opportunity to create a culture within your own spheres of influence where the active nurturing of a range of skills and perspectives can contribute to your organisation’s success.

I encourage you to think beyond our borders and reflect on how as South Australians we can develop our international links and harness opportunities through our multicultural society.

I encourage you to continue to reflect on and discuss with each other how you can bring humanity, integrity, authenticity and, I would add, generosity, to your leadership and how you can build respectful workplaces; places where people feel they belong, where diversity and inclusion are championed and everyone can reach their potential.

Welcome to the program and I wish you every success as it unfolds this year and I look forward to getting to know you as leaders.