Tuesday, 1 November 2022

It is Rod’s and my pleasure to welcome you to Government House to present the 2022 Children’s Week Awards.

It is our particular honour to do so as joint patrons of the Children’s Week Association of South Australia.

As you all know, Universal Children’s Day was established by the United Nations in 1954.

More than 151 countries observe Universal Children’s Day in October, and some, like Australia, celebrate with week-long activities.

In South Australia for the past 43 years, Children’s Week has been celebrated to draw attention to the need for people to understand, appreciate and care about children.

There can be no greater gift to bestow on our next generation than that of ensuring they have the opportunity to grow, develop and thrive in an environment where their cultural, social and emotional needs are met.

That’s not the sole remit of governments, or parents, or schools. It goes much further.

It is the responsibility of us all to create a community where children can flourish. Our future depends on it.

As Governor, I hope to encourage more young people to see themselves as leaders; to feel confident they can have an active role in shaping the future they will inherit.

In that regard, as a former teacher, Rod has been impressed with the work being undertaken by the Children’s University at the University of Adelaide.

By participating in the program, children are finding cool ways to learn and discover out of school hours and importantly become active, informed citizens and the leaders of tomorrow.

I am sure that seeing the shiny eyes and wide beaming smiles of children as young as five through to 18 dressed in formal gown and mortar graduating from the program would make any parent or guardian burst with pride.

In that respect, the Children’s Week Awards shine a light on those in the community who have similar goals at heart; those who are giving back to the community, helping others shine.

I congratulate everyone we are honouring tonight.

Your endeavours are varied, but demonstrate a caring attitude, responsibility to others, a commitment to an inclusive society, wanting to lift people up and provide interesting experiences.

I also thank the Children’s Week Association for your commitment, and drive in shining a light on children’s needs, rights, talents and citizenship.

Thank you for caring. I wish you well for 2023 and beyond.