Tuesday, 19 March 2024

Receptions for Child Development Council

As Patron of South Australia’s Charter for Children and Young People, I warmly welcome you all to Government House.

Over two receptions, one this morning and one this afternoon, it will be my pleasure to welcome more than 180 new Charter Ambassadors to their roles.

I especially thank students and teachers from country schools – the number of which has increased this year – for being here today.

Congratulations to you all on becoming Ambassadors for 2024!

Thank you for standing up and wanting to be active citizens.

The Charter for Children and Young People is an important document.

Developed in consultation with children and young people, 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.

As Rod and I travel the State, we meet many young people and visit many schools.

We are struck by how connected young people like you are with their communities.

You want to contribute and are enthusiastic about what you can achieve, now and into the future.

As Ambassadors, you are embracing the privileges and responsibilities that come with citizenship – the privilege of being able to share your voice freely, and the responsibility of using it to advocate for the wellbeing of yourselves and your peers.

Young people almost always have a different view. You think of new ways of doing things and you have a deep concern for the world you live in.

When I was a diplomat, and a different kind of ambassador to you, I represented Australia in maintaining and strengthening our country’s relationships with other countries, in areas such as trade, international security, the environment and our people to people relations.

I have seen first‑hand the power of people with different view points talking to each other and sharing their views.

Better decisions come from the sharing of different opinions and of diverse talents, no matter how old we are.

As we work to 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 – your voices - are important.

I thank last year’s Charter Ambassadors for using their voices within their school communities to share the message of the Charter, from producing podcasts to writing articles for the school newsletter, and more.

To this year’s Ambassadors, I ask the question - how might you share the Charter and its goals with your school community?

Students and teachers may also be interested to know that entries in the 2024 Governor’s Civics Awards are now open.

The awards are presented annually and encourage students to deepen their understanding of the privileges and responsibilities of citizenship, as well as be active citizens in service to their communities.

You and your teachers can find out more on the Education Department or Government House websites. We’d love to see some entries from your schools.


I congratulate the Child Development Council for its stewardship of the program, for engaging with young people, and importantly for setting measurable goals.

To all the Charter Ambassadors here, thank you for being part of the program.

I look forward to hearing about how you put the Charter into action this year, and I hope to see you back at Government House one day, perhaps as a student leader or a volunteer.

Coming events