Quentin Bryce: We Australians intuitively know what serves us well

Share
Related Topics

I acknowledge the traditional keepers of this land on which we gather in our nation's capital; their successors, and those who have come before me: their dignified service; their diligence and pledge; their important efforts in recognising, encouraging, and unifying Australians. I feel deeply the gravity of the role bestowed on me today as I stand before you in this Senate Chamber.

This chamber is a place of representative assembly, of rigorous review and debate, an institution enshrined in our Constitution and central to our country's parliamentary democracy. It is my greatest pleasure now to be part of that institution, to serve as Australia's 25th Governor-General; to perform my responsibilities according to law and convention; and to reflect the ideals, values, expectations, and achievements of the Australian people.

We are an evolving and maturing society, our collective expression drawn from our passage, and our hopes for the future. Since Australian colonies first federated to form the Commonwealth of Australia over a century ago, every dimension of us has been touched: our social, cultural, intellectual, economic and political environments; our independence as a self-governing nation; our special sense of what it is to be Australian. Our experience of the privilege and duty of suffrage over many years – belatedly for our indigenous people – has made Australians savvy participants in our democratic system, and careful scrutineers of its performance and value.

We are informed and not afraid to question. We intuitively know what serves us well, and what therefore deserves our protection. Equally, we embrace change as a natural and necessary consequence of our evolution. Our growing capacity to balance tradition with renewal is a sure and uplifting sign of our standing as a sophisticated and highly functional civilised society, and member of the global community.

Underpinning that capacity are our respect for the dignity, worth, and human rights of every individual; our insistence on equality of access to justice and opportunity; our belief in each other's ability to contribute to our enrichment and endurance; and our abiding commitment to a fair and inclusive society.

These are exciting times for Australia. I want you to know that I take on this role with solemnity, impartiality, energy, and a profound love for the country we share. And, as I travel – over our rich and testing country, into the vibrant and struggling sectors of our community, to our rural and remote places, forever deep in my heart – I promise to be alive, open, responsive, and faithful to the contemporary thinking and working of Australian society.

Taken from a speech given last week by Australia's newly appointed – and first female – governor-general

React Now

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Head of Digital Marketing,London

To £58k Contract 12 months: Charter Selection: Major household name charity se...

Network Support Engineer / Junior Test Analyst

£23000 - £27000 per annum: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: A market leading, in...

Key Account Manager, Medical

£35000 per annum, Benefits: Excellent commission structure + Car: Charter Sele...

Key Account Manager, Medical

£35000 per annum, Benefits: Excellent commission structure + Car: Charter Sele...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

The daily catch-up: fathers looking after children, World Cup questions and Nostradamus

John Rentoul
 

Letter from the Political Editor: Phone and data laws to be passed in haste

Andrew Grice
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice