Tuesday, 04 June 2024

Prince of Wales Awards Reception

It is Rod’s and my pleasure to welcome you to Government House to present the 2023 Prince of Wales Award to the South Australian recipient, Wing Commander Daniel Martin and (separately) to his employer Mr Rod Elliot from the SA Ambulance Service.

We do so in a spirit of admiration for those who serve our nation through the Australian Defence Force and its 31,000 strong reservists and those who support them.

In this, the 40th year of the Award, it is a privilege to mark that long-standing history with several previous Prince of Wales Awardees joining us today.

Throughout my association with Defence personnel and their families – now as Governor, and earlier during my diplomatic career - I have gained a deep respect for the dedication and resolve demonstrated by those who serve their nation.

I have witnessed it Baghdad, Kabul and Tarin Kowt, in London and Washington and Honolulu, across the Pacific Island countries and in China.

I have witnessed it in my visits to the Edinburgh Air Base and the Keswick and Warradale Army barracks.

And as Representative Colonel of the Royal South Australian Regiment 10/27th Battalion.

I witnessed it only last week when I presented the Duke of Gloucester Cup to HMAS Rankin at Osborne.

I join other Australians in expressing a debt of gratitude to those who step forward and actively contribute to building and defending a strong society.

For Reservists, a commitment to national service often goes hand-in-hand with the way they approach their civilian careers – an unwavering sense of duty and pride in all they do.

Wing Commander Martin - your marrying of civilian life as the Director of Nursing, SA Ambulance MedSTAR Emergency Medical Retrieval with your role in the Health Operational Conversion Unit of the Royal Australian Air Force has undeniable mutual benefit.

By drawing on the Prince of Wales Award to attend the International Prehospital and Retrieval Study and Observation Tour, I am sure you have gained valuable ideas and new skills for both of your important roles.

Wing Commander Martin’s service demonstrates the humanitarian role Defence plays in responding to sudden onset disasters and disease outbreaks.

He has had multiple deployments including the Boxing Day tsunami, the Samoan Measles outbreak and most recently in support of the non-combatant evacuation out of Afghanistan.

Of course, the role of civilian employers in standing alongside our Reservists cannot be overstated in providing encouragement and important time off. It’s not easy to juggle absences.

Rod and I thank Wing Commander Martin’s employer, Mr Rob Elliot, the Chief Executive Officer of the South Australian Ambulance Service for such commitment.

I know that employers, in addition to serving in their own way by facilitating the reserve participation of their staff, also gain a business benefit.

Qualities of our Reservists such as loyalty, self-discipline and motivation, are immediately transferable – and valuable – to our civilian workforce.

Reservists are often leaders who encourage others to succeed.


Since 1984, more than 300 Reserve members have been recipients of Prince of Wales Awards.

Of these, 30, across all three services, have been South Australian.

To the Award alumni: thank you for taking the initiative to extend your skills and knowledge. I am sure you have applied them well while wearing either of your “hats.”

To those who in the Defence Force who have had stewardship of the Awards over 40 years, thank you for providing a means for Reservists to extend themselves and share their expertise with the community they serve.

Long may it continue.

Coming events