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Address on the occasion of a reception for the presentation of awards and badges to the 2006 Churchill Fellows ACT.



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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 RECEPTION FOR THE PRESENTATION OF AWARDS AND BADGES TO THE 2006 CHURCHILL FELLOWS ACT

GOVERNMENT HOUSE

4 SEPTEMBER 2006

· Sir David Smith, Chairman, ACT Regional Committee · Mr Paul Tys, Chief Executive Officer · Ms Jan Heath, ACT Regional Secretary · Members of the Regional Committee · Churchill Fellows · Families and friends

It is a great pleasure for Marlena and me to welcome you to Government House this evening. And in particular to welcome the six highly deserving Churchill Fellows from the ACT for 2006.

Winston Churchill was spot on when he noted that “genius springs from every part of the land. You cannot tell where you will be able to unearth a wonder.”

That’s how we see the candidates; Juanita, Rifaat, Holly, Craig, Wilma and Siwan.

As the Trust declares, the Fellowships are awards of opportunity. As we have heard in the citations, the 2006 recipients’ projects are diverse yet highly focussed on the community in: - Re-educating youngsters in their eating habits; - Reducing road fatalities; - Promoting organ donation; - Encouraging Indigenous leadership; - Assisting Motor Neuron Disease sufferers; and - Establishing an Australian Centre for River Restoration.

As recipients you are now members of a large family, numbering more than 3,000 of Australia’s best and brightest.

There is virtually no segment of Australian life in which Churchill Fellows have not made a significant contribution.

This is largely due to the Fellowships being awarded on the basis of their potential to deliver what might be called a community-based dividend; they are not simply a personal reward or potential career enhancement opportunity for the individual involved.

The most significant feature of the Churchill Trust is to be found in the personal characters of the Fellows themselves.

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They are exceptional people with an acute sense of serving the community. They are creative, committed individuals who want to, and do, make a difference.

Fellows, we very much look forward to hearing about your activities overseas, buoyed in the knowledge that those experiences will help advance our country to the status of a nation of excellence in everything we do; and as such, to be an admired and respected example to our region and the rest of the world.

Ladies and gentlemen. Winston Churchill’s name shone during times of national crises. A man of extraordinarily independent mind and great courage, he embodied all that is best in the English spirit. He was guided by a deep inner conviction and personal values which helped him succeed against great odds. The establishment of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust reflects his unique standing in the global community.

The success of the Churchill Fellowships would not have been possible without the commitment of the Trust’s board of directors, who help open the door for Australians wanting to explore new ideas, new technologies and new partnerships. Together you help foster an outstanding culture of innovation and excellence.

In the long winter of 1941, Winston Churchill appealed to the United States for help in defending freedom from Nazism with the phrase, “Give us the tools and we will finish the job.”

The Trust continues to be an exemplary organisation that gives selected Australians the means to do just that.

Fellows, I am confident your forthcoming research and study will far exceed your expectations and that you will be enriched by many productive and valuable experiences.

Well done and good luck to you all.

I would now ask the Trust officials and recipients to join us in a group photograph in front of the piano.

Thank you.

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