Monday, 27 November 2023

Reception for the 2023 Student Citizenship Awards

Rod and I are very pleased to welcome you all to Government House to celebrate the ‘top 10’ recipients of the 2023 Student Citizenship Awards, an annual program conducted by the SA Branch of the Order of Australia Association.

Congratulations to you all!

Your dedication to community service, leadership, and the spirit of inclusivity has been recognised as outstanding among your peers.

I also congratulate the other 29 recipients, who will receive their awards at school functions and assemblies later this year.

Students, you may be aware that before my appointment as Governor, I had was a diplomat.

It allowed me to travel the world, and gave me an understanding of systems of government and the lives of citizens in other countries.

These experiences fostered a great appreciation for the many benefits and privileges that we enjoy as Australians – and the importance of celebrating them.

As Governor, I have the honour of witnessing many examples of exceptional citizenship, including through our School Visit Program, and events here at Government House.

I am always struck by the commitment of our state’s young people to providing support to their communities and, in many cases, their understanding of the rights and responsibilities of citizens.

Rod and I were pleased to learn about your voluntary involvement across many sectors, including sport, helping disadvantaged community members, social justice, and environmental initiatives.

Whether it is through organising events, leading outreach programs, or participating in events, your voluntary efforts have left a positive impression on the broader community.

In your understanding of citizenship, you also recognise that outstanding citizenship is not just about personal achievement, but also about contributing to the well-being of others.

I acknowledge that juggling the responsibilities of schoolwork, leadership roles, and extracurricular activities is no small feat.

It requires the ability to prioritise what is important to you, resilience, and a deep commitment to community service.

The balance that you have struck between your academic pursuits and voluntary service reflects the depth of your sense of responsibility.

I thank your parents, other family members and teachers for their role in your education and for helping you develop your values.

And I thank the many dedicated teachers who have researched and prepared nominations for their students.

I commend the SA Branch of the Order of Australia Association for its flagship program, which it has overseen for 20 years.

I particularly thank members of the assessment and selection panel.

I acknowledge the generous donation by Mr Keith (Chook) Fowler which has allowed for the presentation of this year’s medallions. Chook is a veteran of the Second World War and an extraordinary citizen whose life has been dedicated to serving others. He celebrated his 103rd birthday on 20 November.

To our award recipients, congratulations once again.

Your actions inspire us all and exemplify what it means to be a compassionate and engaged member of society.

I wish you every success for your future studies and community activities.

I encourage you to develop your leadership and I hope to see you again at Government House one day!

Coming events