Wednesday, 12 April 2023
South Australia Police Iftar Dinner
Ramadan Mubarak and warm greetings to all who are observing the holy month of Ramadan.
As we have heard, Ramadan is a time for self-reflection and a time to focus on forgiveness, patience, resilience, charity and compassion for those less fortunate.
It is a spiritual time that brings together people of diverse backgrounds in a community of faith.
My husband, Rod, and I are therefore very pleased to join you for the annual SAPOL Iftar Dinner, following the inaugural event in 2022.
In my former role as Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, it was my great pleasure to host a Ramadan reception for the diplomatic corps in Canberra each year.
Now as Governor I am honoured to attend Iftar dinners hosted by South Australian organisations and communities, to promote harmony and understanding within our culturally diverse society, and celebration of it.
In recent years I have been pleased to see an increasing number of Iftar dinners being held across the community.
I thank South Australia Police for being one of these organisations, and I thank leaders and members of the Muslim community for generously co-hosting.
As a South Australian community, we walk together on ancient lands in the footsteps of an ancient culture.
We are a society that has evolved over time with many faces and many voices from many lands; shaping who we are and providing the essential character of our State.
While our story is multifaceted, its elements are increasingly bound together through greater intercultural understanding and greater respect for each other’s values and viewpoints.
Diversity – encouraged, respected and rewarded – is a huge asset for our state.
Our citizens’ willingness actively to contribute to South Australia, whether that’s paving the way for others, overcoming barriers and building trust or contributing expertise, is to be commended.
It is a blessing that here in South Australia our diversity defines us rather than divides us.
This success has been many decades in the making.
It stems from the hard work, dedication and determination of so many people and organisations – political and civic leaders, business leaders, religious and community leaders and many committed individuals.
Promoting the strength and harmony of our society is something that we must continue to work on – it is never ‘finished’.
I acknowledge the South Australia Police and Australian Federal Police for their efforts in this regard, and for using this dinner to show the human face of policing to this community.
It is of course imperative for law enforcement to resolve any perceived or real issues in partnership with the community, in our joint quest to build an inclusive and safe society.
This enables police to do their work effectively, while ensuring all members of the South Australian community feel understood and protected.
I wish you, your families and all who honour this holy month, Ramadan Kareem - a blessed Ramadan.