Wednesday, 28 February 2024

Governor's Leadership Foundation Launch and 25th Anniversary

Rod, and I as Patron, warmly welcome you to the Government House grounds to recognise participants in the 2024 Governor’s Leadership Foundation program and mark its 25th anniversary.

In my role as Governor, and your Patron, I am committed to fostering our State’s leadership, because leadership is essential not only to achieving our goals as a community, but also for delivering progress for our nation and beyond our borders.

South Australia is a major contributor to Australia’s defence capabilities, a leader in renewables and agriculture, the home of the Australian Space agency and the Cyber Collaboration Centre, a leader in medical research.

Adaptable, aware and agile leaders will ensure our future progress by exploring the potential of new industries and building on the strengths of the past.

It will take bold ideas, courageous leadership, and cross-sectoral cooperation.


Twenty-five years ago, South Australia’s 32nd Governor, the Honourable Sir Eric Neal, a distinguished business leader, recognised the need for a structured approach to leadership development and worked with the Leaders Institute to create the Governor’s Leadership Foundation.

Since then, successive Governors – the Honourable Marjorie Jackson-Nelson, Rear Admiral the Honourable Kevin Scarce, the Honourable Hieu Van Le and I - have given patronage to the foundation, each bringing different skills, experiences, and perspectives. All sharing an enthusiasm for the task.

Similarly, the participants in the 2024 program will each bring something of yourselves and your outlooks to the program.

Alongside that, I am delighted that there are so many GLF alumni here today; you represent a wealth of talent, experience and drive that are a valuable resource for our State.

And I know you, too, brought something of yourselves and your outlooks to the program and you discovered – as the 2024 GLFers will too – the transformative value of diversity and inclusion and of leading by empowering others.

Undoubtedly, one of South Australia’s strengths is our collaborative spirit and our ability to come together around a shared table. In my former role as a diplomat, I have witnessed the power of this ethos.

Participants in the Governor’s Leadership Foundation program, build relationships and gain skills which contribute to a strong, creative and inclusive South Australia.

For the 2024 program participants, if the experience of your predecessors is any guide, you have a steep learning curve ahead. You will be extended. There will be a transformative shift in your world view. You will gain clarity about your capabilities and become more adept at collaborative endeavours.

To maximise your contribution as a leader, you will need to have a vision, an ability to inspire others, to consider a diversity of perspectives, and be adaptable to challenges. Above all, you will need to be authentic.

I have always appreciated speaking with GLF participants during the program and learning of their aspirations and achievements.

I also love meeting GLFers in my daily work. You are everywhere!

During a visit to the South East a fortnight ago, the Principal of Naracoorte High School, Lynette Corletto, welcomed me to her school.

I was impressed by school’s student leaders and inspired by my visit, at the end of which Lynette mentioned she was a GLFer and told me the program had changed her life.

This is what all GLFers say!

I congratulate and thank you all for putting yourselves forward to be part of the program and gain the skills to find novel leadership solutions for emerging and hard-to-solve challenges.

As I said earlier, to succeed as a State, we need leaders who embody adaptability and agility, draw on their networks and engage with others whose perspectives may be different from their own.

With this in mind, it gives me great pleasure today officially to launch the Leaders Institute’s Impact Fund which will enable people who would not otherwise be able to undertake leadership programs to be awarded scholarships for the GLF and Emerging Leader programs.

Potential recipients include people from refugee or migrant backgrounds, Indigenous participants, people with a disability and those working in the not-for-profit sector.

I congratulate the Leaders Institute on this initiative, which will ultimately ensure our leaders are reflective of our diverse society.

I thank the Leaders Institute for its stewardship of the GLF for the past 25 years and thank those who have contributed to its success as program presenters, guests and participants.

In this way, you are all proactively helping to shape our State’s future.

Coming events