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Address on the occasion of a Graduation Parade, Australian Defence Force Academy.



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ADDRESS BY

HIS EXCELLENCY MAJOR GENERAL MICHAEL JEFFERY AC CVO MC

GOVERNOR-GENERAL OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

ON THE OCCASION OF

A GRADUATION PARADE, AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE FORCE ACADEMY

CANBERRA

8 DECEMBER 2005

• Commodore James Goldrick, Commandant, Australian Defence Force Academy • The Honourable Robert Hill, Minister for Defence • Air Chief Marshall Angus Houston, Chief of the Defence Force • Senior members of the ADF and Department of Defence • Graduates, Officer Cadets and Midshipmen • Distinguished guests • Ladies and gentlemen

As Governor-General, it is a pleasure to be here for the graduation of the Australian Defence Force Academy class of 2005.   Well done on a first class parade.   I extend special congratulations to the recipients of the Commander-in-Chief and Service Chiefs' awards.   To the families and friends of the graduates, thank you for the vital support role you have played in helping your loved ones through what is a very challenging, physical and educational introduction to military life.   To the graduates; your role as future officers is one of the most important in contemporary society. With commissioned rank comes authority, but with this authority also comes responsibility.     That responsibility in a highly trained, modern military may not always be issuing orders and supervising the response, that is command; at times it may require you to create an environment where your sailors/soldiers, airmen or defence civilians can think effectively and work harmoniously - namely the staff. But both are challenging components of the quality we define as leadership.   You have all decided to serve in the profession-of-arms, a noble profession, and a rewarding one. A profession that holds great opportunities for those of you who are prepared to work hard.   You have chosen to forgo the comforts of civilian life and pursue a career that may take you far from home and in to harm's way.   You will face challenging times ahead, but I feel sure that the lessons you have learned at the Academy will have equipped you to handle such occasions with confidence, compassion and wisdom.   I know that when the moment comes, each of you will accept your responsibilities, lead with courage, conviction and integrity and strive for excellence in all that you undertake. At this stage of your careers you have been given all the basic ingredients required to be a first class officer in the ADF.   You have been provided with a superb education, both from the University of NSW and from your

military staff and instructors; an education that covers the liberal arts, technical skills, physical

conditioning and military training.   In today's defence force such an education is essential.   It is essential because in these times of increasing uncertainty, with new and ill-defined threats to the world and our nation, you will confront challenges of a special nature.   You may have to deal with the increasing complexities of global terrorism. Alternatively, you may need to respond to crises arising from the breakdown of institutions and law and order through peacekeeping or peacemaking operations.   Or you may be involved in United Nations or coalition-type operations, such as we've seen in the two Gulf Wars. Increasingly the ADF is being called upon to assist with the provision of humanitarian aid, medical response, shelter and security.   We have all been proud witness to the expertise, professionalism and care exhibited by our service personnel deployed in the tsunami devastated parts of South Eastern Asia and more recently in the mountainous regions of Kashmir.   Your training here at the Academy has prepared you well for your future careers and these challenges. Be confident in your achievements and your ability to operate in an environment that may embrace any one, if not all of these scenarios.   It will be up to you to maintain the respect that those before you have worked so hard to establish.   The Defence force is striving to be 'Beyond Joint' and you represent the cutting edge of that effort. As you acquire new skills and deepen your understanding of your Service, you will carry with you the friendships that you have made here at the Academy, friendships that will not only support and help you as a person, but also will serve you well in an operational capacity. Outside family they may well be the ones you come to cherish the most; so nurture them.   The other highly valuable relationships forged at ADFA are those with colleagues from other countries. And I would like to congratulate the officer cadet graduates from New Zealand, Singapore and Thailand.   In conclusion, I know that each of you will do all you can to maintain and enhance the pride that Australians have in the nation's Defence Force, and to uphold the finest traditions of your respective services.   If you work hard, I predict your careers will be both professionally rewarding and extremely enjoyable.   I commend you all for your performance to date and wish you the very best in your future endeavours.   Thank you.