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Thursday, 9 February 2017
Page: 605

Mr GOODENOUGH (Moore) (11:58): I take this opportunity to join with the Prime Minister and my parliamentary colleagues in congratulating Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on reaching a significant milestone in her glorious reign—the Sapphire Jubilee. The Queen is Head of the Commonwealth and Supreme Governor of the Church of England. During her long and distinguished reign. the world has changed remarkably. Through momentous economic, political and social events, through conflicts and international events, she has reigned with dignity, integrity and grace. During the Queen's reign, 13 British prime ministers have held office—from Winston Churchill to the current Prime Minister, Theresa May. Her devotion to duty and public service is unparalleled. There are 2.2 billion people living in 52 Commonwealth nations across six continents. Citizens of Commonwealth nations have enjoyed decades of stability, security, good governance and comparably high standards of living. Commonwealth countries are united by diplomacy and international cooperation and through sporting events such as the Commonwealth Games. Currently, the Queen is head of 16 Commonwealth nations.

On the occasion of the Sapphire Jubilee, we celebrate the British heritage of our multicultural nation and all that is good about Australia: our culture, customs, traditions; our system of government and the rule of law; our industrialised economy; and our Defence Force. We should be proud of this heritage and never seek to diminish our British heritage from history. We owe our high standard of living, our peaceful and secure society, to a stable constitutional monarchy built on British heritage. This fact must never be lost in the national debate on multiculturalism and reconciliation. I believe that there should be mutual respect and recognition of all cultures on which our nation is founded without selective omission. The constitutional monarchy is part of our culture that defines us. We must never downplay the significance of the British culture in today's multicultural Australian society. We should celebrate it as an integral part of the pluralistic nature that defines us as modern Australians.

Throughout my lifetime, I have witnessed the Queen's Silver, Ruby, Golden and Diamond Jubilees. My grandparents instilled in me a healthy respect for our sovereign. I have fond memories of queueing up for hours to see the Queen in public on two occasions—at Perth airport and Government House—when Her Majesty visited Perth. I am proud to say that members of my extended family have been loyal servants of the Crown over the centuries in the military, clergy and banking. Their distinguished service has been recognised with knighthoods and ennoblements and the Baronetage of the United Kingdom of South Hill Park and of Broadwell and Filkins. On this occasion, I offer my heartfelt congratulations to Her Majesty on behalf of the Australian people. Long may she reign.