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Presentation of new Queen's Colours and Regimental Colours to the University of New South Wales Regiment, Sydney (Victoria Barracks), Saturday, 22 August 1998: address on the occasion.

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Colonel Southwell, past and present members of the University of New South Wales Regiment and Distinguished guests.

First of all, let me congratulate Lieutenant Colonel Ian Lalas and all on parade today for the very high standard of the turnout and drill. You have demonstrated how extraordinarily well the Regiment can do things on the parade ground as well as off it. I would also congratulate the UNSWR Band under the direction of Major Frank Rugers ... particularly for the outstanding rendition of the regimental quick march “Blue Blood”. It is always a delight to see and hear an Army band. They are, I regret to say, far too rare.

It has been a particular pleasure for me, as Governor-General and Commander-inĀ­ Chief under the Constitution, to present the new Queen’s and Regimental Colours to the Regiment. The initial Colours were presented to the Regiment on 27 October 1963 by the then Governor of New South Wales, Lieutenant General Sir Eric Woodward: the Queen’s Colour with the Unit title inscribed in gold on a crimson circle surmounted by the Crown against the background of the Great Union which, in accordance with our contemporary national custom, is now replaced by the Australian National Flag; the Regimental Colour of dark green with its crowned wreath of wattle around the crest of the University of New South Wales and the Unit title. I note that the Regiment’s current Honorary Colonel, Colonel Southwell, and the previous Honorary Colonel, Brigadier Parsonage, who are here today, were both on parade when the old Colours were presented 35 years ago.

The Regiment was initially established, as the University of Technoldgy Regiment, in 1951. In 1957, the University of Technology became the University of New South Wales and the Regiment’s title was changed accordingly.

Naturally, the life, the structure, the composition and the associations of the Regiment have been influenced by, and reflect, the life, the development and the associations of the great University whose name it bears. The passage of years saw the formation of campuses at Newcastle and Wollongong and then the establishment of independent Universities in those cities and the establishment of Australia’s first Federated


University, the University of Western Sydney. The result of those developments is that the Regiment’s present relationships encompass not only the foundation bond between it and the University of New South Wales but also special and enduring associations with the University of Newcastle, the University of Wollongong and the University of Western Sydney. The bond between the Regiment and all four Universities is of great importance. It enhances the strength, the status and the reputation of them all.

In addition, reflecting the long association which existed between Australia’s Royal Military College at Duntroon and the University of New South Wales, the Regiment enjoys a special relationship with the present day RMC. That association has recently developed to the stage where the Regiment is now a Regional Officer Initial Training Establishment with Officer Cadets being commissioned by the Royal Military College. As one who has a great affection for Duntroon, I am delighted by that association. It constitutes part of the close and very special link which exists between this University and our Australian Defence Force. While the Regiment retains the pivotal role in the initial training of its young officers, the graduation at Duntroon ensures integration of full-time and part-time officer training.

Throughout history, Colours, banners and standards have played an important role in helping individuals to identify with the immediate group - be it the individual leader, the clan, the city, or, in our times, the military unit or battalion.

Beyond that, they have also served as a focus for loyalty and commitment as members of a larger whole - the particular armed service, the defence force, the nation.

So it is that I hope these new Colours, like those they replace, will be a symbol of the Regiment’s long traditions of rendering service and support to its own members, to the Army, to the Sovereign as our Australian Head of State, and to the Australian people. Equally, I am sure, that the new Colours will be a focus in the future for the continuing maintenance and observance of the high standards of the past and of today and for the loyalty and dedication of the members of the Regiment to its own traditions and to the continued service of our nation.

I congratulate all members of the Regiment, past and present, both on today and on all the years and all the achievements of the past. And I offer my sincere best wishes for all the years that lie ahead.