Afternoon Tea for Presentation for the 2017 Winston Churchill Fellowship Awards
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. Kaye and I are delighted to welcome you all to Government House for this celebration of the Winston Churchill Fellowship Awards. We particularly welcome our 2017 Churchill Fellows, and their proud families, friends and supporters.
As some of you may know, Kaye and I were recently in Israel to attend Commemorations of the Centenary of the Attack on Beersheba during the Sinai-Palestine Campaign.
Winston Churchill, in his famous history of the War, The World Crisis 1911-1918, noted the brilliance of that operation.
Writing The World Crisis was much more than a mere historical exercise for Winston Churchill.
He’d served as First Lord of the Admiralty, intimately and controversially involved in the Gallipoli Campaign, and later joined frontline troops on the Western Front as a Lieutenant Colonel of the Royal Scot Fusiliers.
Winston Churchill led a most remarkable life, which spanned two World Wars and the collapse of empires.
His was a life which changed the course of history.
So it is instructive that in the twilight of his life, when asked by the Duke of Edinburgh about his legacy, rather than choosing statues or museums, Churchill chose a foundation dedicated to education – like the Rhodes Scholarship, but crucially, available to more people, on a much wider basis.
We honour the man and his legacy with the award of the Winston Churchill Fellowships.
They are awarded with the hope and expectation that your studies will increase the well of human knowledge in the fields in which you have specialised.
Just as importantly, we ask you to return to Australia to share your knowledge and insight with the wider community.
Churchill Fellows have made a tremendous contribution to Australia in an incredible variety of fields of endeavour. So too, have the men and women who have been associated with this transformational organisation, a fact of which I was recently reminded when I attended the State Funeral of former Patron in Chief, Sir Ninian Stephen.
Recipients of Fellowships have also formed a wellspring of knowledge, as our newest Fellows join an alumni which is practically without peer in terms of its depth and breadth.
As Governor of Queensland, I have witnessed the impact of Churchill Fellows in various fields, first hand, and remain enormously grateful for the Fellowships’ immense contribution to the knowledge, instruction and wellbeing of our community.
I thank the representatives of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust here today, including members of the Queensland Regional Committee, along with the Trust’s vitally important sponsors.
Finally, I congratulate the newest Churchill Fellows on your achievements, and wish each of you every success in your studies abroad.