Thursday, 23 February 2023

Reception to launch the 2023 Governor's Leadership Program

It is Rod’s and my great pleasure to welcome you to Government House for the official launch of the Governor’s Leadership Foundation Program for 2023.

As Governor, one of my priorities is to encourage South Australia’s leaders and future leaders in all fields and in all parts of the State.

Strong and strategic leadership has been vital to South Australia since our first Governor, Captain John Hindmarsh, set foot on this soil in 1836 to create a new society - one still being developed on this ancient land as aboriginal and non-aboriginal people walk a path of reconciliation together.

160 years later the Governor of the day, Sir Eric Neal, a businessman, recognised the need for a structured approach to leadership and worked with the Leaders Institute to create the Governor’s Leadership Foundation.

Since then, successive Governors have given patronage to the foundation, a testament to its importance.

All have had varied backgrounds: The Honourable Marjorie Jackson Nelson, an Olympian and charity worker; Rear Admiral the Honourable Kevin Scarce, a naval officer; The Honourable Hieu Van Le, an accountant and economist who arrived in South Australia as a refugee.

Yet all have accorded a priority to leadership which transcends their individual experience and contributions to the State.

I am honoured to continue that tradition set by my distinguished predecessors because I believe that great leadership is critical to our State’s future and that of our world.

It is a perspective that was reinforced by my former role as a diplomat representing Australia overseas.

As we grapple with recovery from the pandemic, sharpening geopolitical tensions, climate change and other global issues, leadership has been shown to be vital.

To navigate these imperatives, we need leaders who have the vision, integrity, humanity and deep self-awareness to contribute to a sustainable future.

Inclusive leaders who listen and are generous in sharing ideas and expertise.

Though the Governor’s Leadership Foundation and its alumni from the past 22 years, such a culture of leadership in South Australia has taken root.

The program is a wonderful opportunity not only to learn from leaders across all sectors and engage in discussions of big ideas, but also to network and build relationships with each other.

I have seen this firsthand at GLF graduation ceremonies, where the special dynamic amongst the group has been striking.

Participants had clearly developed close connections and friendships. The esprit de corps and cohesion of the group was inspiring and seemed likely to endure.

On other occasions, people go out of their way to let me know they have done the GLF and how much it meant to them, both professionally and personally.

I congratulate you all for taking up the program. You have committed to an intense and immersive program combined with what I imagine for most of you also includes family and community commitments.

Yet this will be a rewarding time.

May you all pursue your highest potential and in doing so contribute not only to your own success, but that of our State and nation.

I have great optimism for our future.

We have strengths in the defence, cyber and space industries, renewables, medical research, the arts, agriculture and wine, education and community services.

Our leaders have the opportunity to further develop these industries and build a healthy economy and caring community.

Thank you for wanting to be part of that future.

I wish you all the best for the coming year and I look forward to our next meeting.

Coming events