PM speaks at Admiralty House
Written by The Hon. John Howard, MP   
Wednesday, 15 March 2006

This is the text of the Prime Minister's speech at Admiralty House on 13 March, 2006

Your Majesty, Your Royal Highnesses, the Premier of New South Wales, Chief Justice of Australia, Chief Justice of New South Wales, the Leader of the Federal Opposition, the Lord Mayor of Sydney, visiting Prime Ministers, Your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen.

This I understand and I was reminded by the Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Don McKinnon, whose presence I also acknowledge, this I understand is the first occasion in which Commonwealth Day has been observed by Her Majesty outside of the United Kingdom. And we here in Australia, and particularly those of us who come from Sydney, are very proud indeed that this should be the city in which that observance takes place.

Ma’am around you you will see a wide cross-section of the Commonwealth community. This gathering brings together people who are committed to the values and the ideals of the Commonwealth, it brings also many people in Sydney and around Australia who are committed to the service of their fellow country men and women. It brings the captains and leaders of youth groups, it brings leaders of the many volunteer and emergency services which are so important in the Australian community so Ma’am as you meet us you will meet a very wide cross-section of the modern Australian community.

At the church service at St Andrew’s this morning we were reminded of the deep variety and richness of the Commonwealth. I just had my own personal experience of having visited the most populist Commonwealth country, India, over the past few days and it is a vivid reminder to me of the great breadth of this wonderful organisation of which you are the head and its deep commitment to the sharing of the values of multi-racial harmony of different religions, all united with a commitment to not only the advancement of the people of the Commonwealth, but the cause of democracy throughout the world.

Ma’am, we welcome you to Admiralty House, your home in Sydney, we welcome you to the community that is gathered, we wish you well and I now invite you to meet your guests. Thank you very much.