Tuesday, 12 September 2023
Child Development Council New Charter Ambassador Program Reception
As Patron of South Australia’s Charter for Children and Young People, I am delighted to welcome you to Government House.
It is lovely to be with you in person because at the reception last year I had to beam in via video link from upstairs as I had COVID, as some of you may remember.
I hope the year has been fulfilling for the current ambassadors and that you feel that you have been able to encourage your fellow classmates and friends to have a voice and contribute to their school and wider communities.
For those ambassadors who are leaving from the program at the end of the year, whether that is because you are moving to High School or post-secondary school opportunities, I thank you for your dedication and for volunteering to be change makers. We are proud of you.
And I also welcome the new Charter Ambassadors and thank you for standing up and wanting to be active citizens.
The Charter for Children and Young People is an important document. It sets out our aspirations as a community for our young people to grow strong and lead happy, healthy lives.
However, it takes people with passion and determination to bring it to life.
People such as you, our Charter Ambassadors.
As my husband, Rod, and I have travelled the State, we have met many young people and visited many schools.
We have been impressed at how connected young people are with their communities. They want to contribute and are enthusiastic about what they can achieve.
They are focussed on the future. Just like you.
As Governor, I plan to continue my visits to schools, not only to talk about the role of Governor and our system of government, but to encourage students to take action as young citizens.
Young voices are important voices and I hope you will always have a sense that you can use that voice.
Youth brings a different view, new ways of doing things and a deep caring about the world you are part of.
As a former diplomat I have seen the power of people talking one-on-one and sharing their views.
Better decisions come from the sharing of different opinions and of diverse talents, no matter our age.
As we tackle climate change, poverty, homelessness; as we work out ways to live without violence or abuse; as we make safe decisions about alcohol, drugs and relationships and other pressing issues outlined in the charter, young voices will be important.
You may think, I am young, would my voice be heard? The answer is yes.
I congratulate the Child Development Council for its stewardship of the program, for engaging with young people, and importantly for setting measurable goals.
The Charter is a valuable document to guide governments and others so that our young people can start their lives well, grow strong and have opportunities.
To all the Charter Ambassadors here, thank you for being part of the program.
I look forward to hearing the stories of what matters to you after the presentations.
Because “every young South Australian counts”.