Reception in support of Victoria League Australian Experience for Students
Consul-General of the United Kingdom, Mr Richard Cowin MBE; Honorary Consul of Slovak Republic, Mr Michal M. Horvath; Honorary Consul of India, Mrs Archana Singh; Honorary Consul of Malta, Mrs Sandra Micaleff; Dean of Brisbane, The Very Reverend Dr Peter Catt; Chairman of The Victoria League Brisbane, Mr Bill Willcocks, Vice-Chairman Mrs Dina Browne AO and President Mr Barry Dinneen; Chair of The Order of Australia Association, Queensland Branch, Mrs Ronda Nix; Victoria League members and supporters; educators and students; distinguished guests.
I begin by acknowledging the Traditional Owners of the lands around Brisbane, the Turrbal and Jagera people, and pay my respects to Elders past, present and emerging, and to all First Nations people here today.
Both Graeme and I are delighted to welcome you to Government House for the launch of The Victoria League Australian Experience for Students Initiative.
As Patron, I am always proud of the work that the League undertakes in these times to promote friendship between the people of the Commonwealth Nations, but I am also appreciative of its wonderful legacy.
I was thrilled to receive a signed framed photograph of Lady Goodwin, wife of Sir Thomas Herbert Goodwin KCB CMG DSO, who was Governor of Queensland from 1927 - 1932, just prior to this reception from your Chairman Mr Bill Willcocks. Lady Goodwin was, of course, the first Patron of The Victoria League in Queensland. Thank you for this special item that will now form part of the Government House archives.
As a voluntary charitable organisation connecting people from Commonwealth countries, The Victoria League for Commonwealth Friendship has certainly lived up to its name throughout its long history.
Its practical schemes to promote hospitality, friendship and education have improved the lives of many across the globe.
I remember well the warm welcome Graeme and I received upon visiting the The Victoria League Student House in Bayswater, Central London whilst there in May. Student House serves as a home away from home for students from Commonwealth countries and is a wonderful example of the good work the League does in promoting both friendship and educational opportunity.
But now to our own back yard - right here, right now, The Victoria League for Commonwealth Friendship in Queensland is launching an initiative that will foster education and cooperation, and engender “respect for others, understanding, tolerance, integrity and partnership”.
The Australian Experience for Students will serve to strengthen the ties that bind us, providing a unique experience for Commonwealth students who are studying in Brisbane.
The basis of this initiative comes in the form of a membership that will afford students the opportunity to attend all Victoria League events and be provided with four invaluable mentoring sessions each year.
These mentors will help provide students with unique cultural insights and an Australian perspective that will help to colour their social and educational experiences whilst here. And no doubt the hand of friendship extended to our Commonwealth visitors during their stay, will remain so long after the students return home, helping forge long lasting global friendships.
Congratulations to the Victoria League Queensland on this wonderful initiative. No doubt it will be a great success. Thank you.