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Wednesday, 8 February 2012
Page: 434

Mr TEHAN (Wannon) (17:16): I rise today to echo the sentiments of all those who have gone before me in wishing the Queen well on her Diamond Jubilee. Sixty years as the monarch is truly an incredible achievement. The grace and dignity with which she has carried out her office is something which we can all learn from. I would like also to offer congratulations to her on behalf of my constituents in Wannon. I have no doubt that they would also like me to pass on my thanks and their praise for the way she has performed her role over those 60 years. That has not only stood the British monarchy in great stead, but it has also helped Australia's stability as one of the world's—if not the world's—greatest functioning democracies.

It is quite extraordinary to think of a young woman thrust into that role at the age of 25—a role which she had not expected to be hers so quickly—but the way she carried that role out from the word go is truly remarkable, and she has done so under constant media attention and in the constant media spotlight. I remember my parents giving me an example of this through a story of when Prince Charles came to Australia and boarded at Timber Top. He visited the farm I grew up on the year before I was born. Whenever my parents told the story of his visit to the farm they could not get over the fact that already in 1967 Prince Charles had to have two minders with him so that he could be looked after, and they could also keep the media out of the way. That gives you a sense of what Prince Charles was dealing with at the time. The royal family has always had to deal with the British and the global media wanting to know every last drop of information about their lives. The fact that the Queen has been able to deal with this and live through it without ever having been the subject of any stories apart from those which talk about her grace, her dignity and her ability to conduct her role is a shining example of how well she has reigned as the British monarch.

I add my congratulations to her on this wonderful milestone. I wish her well and hope there are many more jubilees to come.