Speeches

The Governor is invited to speak at a wide range of significant official, ceremonial and community events, including the Opening of Parliament, ANZAC Day ceremonies and events for Patron groups. A selection of these speeches is available below in a searchable database.

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 at Nicholas Street Precinct Ipswich

Civic Reception to Celebrate the Centenary of the Royal Australian Air Force

Representing the Premier, Assistant Minister Bart Mellish MP; representing the Leader of the Opposition, Mr James Lister MP; other Members of the Legislative Assembly; Mayor Teresa Harding; senior military leaders, including Air Commodore Veronica Tyler, representing the Chief of Air Force, and our host tonight, Group Captain Iain Carty; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen. 

I at once acknowledge the traditional owners of these lands and extend respectful greetings to Elders and emerging leaders.

It is an honour as Governor and Honorary Air Commodore of No. 23 City of Brisbane Squadron to join you today in celebrating 100 years of the Royal Australian Air Force.

It was a great pleasure also to highlight the RAAF Centenary in my ANZAC Day Dawn Service speech this year.

I was further moved to see both the large RAAF Amberley contingent which marched past me in style, and the impressive fly-past, as part of this year’s Brisbane Parade; their impressive turn-out and drill was matched by everyone participating in tonight’s Marching-in of the Colours – congratulations to all involved.   

My role in ANZAC Day ceremonies is but one element, though one of the most important, of my broader ceremonial role as Governor and representative of the Queensland people. 

Among the many highlights for me over the past seven years have been formally re-opening the refurbished ANZAC Square in 2019; presenting new Queen’s and Regimental Colours to the 9th Battalion, Royal Queensland Regiment, in 2014; and, not too far from here, unveiling in 2015 the memorial cairn to the Barellan Point Landing Ground.

These occasions and many more, both military and non-military, honour people and organisations that have served Queensland in outstanding ways, and honour the traditions that make these special occasions even more special.

It has been a great privilege for me to participate in these ceremonies.  

Today is no exception.

The fly-pasts on ANZAC Day all over Australia were a spectacular reminder of just how far the RAAF has come since 1921.

Photographs and grainy vision of those first, fragile RAAF aircraft in the 1920s make you wonder how much courage it took just to climb into the cockpit.

The speed and size of the aircraft that prowl the runways of Amberley are light years away from those early biplanes.

Our modern RAAF is a potent military force characterised by the highest levels of professionalism and capable of operations that, even to an Honorary Air Commodore, are remarkable in their reach and complexity.

The role of the RAAF has grown too – beyond purely military operations to encompass, for example, humanitarian missions supporting communities in need in the Pacific, Asia and Africa. 

Above all, the RAAF has served Australia with great courage, dedication and distinction in theatres of war including the Pacific and defending our own shores in World War II, Korea, Vietnam and more recently Iraq and Afghanistan.

That is a simply marvellous record, worthy of enormous pride and great professional satisfaction. And worthy, too, of the wider community’s great admiration and gratitude, always keeping in our thoughts the thousands of RAAF personnel lost while on active service in the course of 100 years, and their families.

Fittingly in this proud city of Ipswich, whose Council and people are such great supporters of Australia’s largest air force base, Amberley, I heartily congratulate the RAAF on its centenary. I thank the thousands of RAAF personnel who serve their country now, and honour the thousands who have served since 1921.   

Today is all about them, and about wishing the RAAF every success as it soars into a bright future. Thank you.