Wednesday, 24 August 2022

It is Rod’s and my great pleasure to welcome you all to Government House this morning.

Government House is a house for all South Australians, for all members of our community.

We want you all to feel welcome and at home here.

South Australia has a long history of welcoming displaced peoples into our community.

From Prussian settlers who arrived here in the 1840s, we have received mid- and post-war refugees and migrants from Southern and Eastern Europe and later from South and South-East Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Each generation of migrants brings a rich mix of culture, skills and knowledge to our community.

The newly arrived Ukrainians with us today are among more than almost 400 people who have arrived in Adelaide from Ukraine, seeking peace and safety.

As a South Australian community we see coverage of the war in Ukraine on the television and social media.

As for the conflict at large, I am sure the predominant feeling is one of outrage.

As for those affected - for you - I am sure the feeling is of sympathy, of empathy, and a desire to provide practical support.

I greatly admire the strength and courage of all Ukrainians – whether they have chosen to stay, or have had no choice but to stay, or have sought refuge in another country.

I have been touched by the way in which the South Australian community has wrapped its arms around those who have sought refuge here, particularly the Ukrainian community through the work of the Association of Ukrainians in SA and the Slava Ukrainian Cultural Centre.

I thank the Association and the Cultural Centre for their extensive support activities such as helping new arrivals to secure food and shelter, to learn English, and to receive counselling and employment support.

I also thank the many not-for-profit organisations and educational institutions working in partnership with the Association and Cultural Centre.

Today, on Ukrainian Independence Day, Rod and I extend our best wishes to all members of South Australia’s Ukrainian community.

Glory to Ukraine.