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Address on the occasion of reception for selected graduands of the Royal Military College, Duntroon and the Australian Defence Force Academy, Canberra.



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Speech

ADDRESS BY

HIS EXCELLENCY MAJOR GENERAL MICHAEL JEFFERY AC CVO MC

GOVERNOR-GENERAL OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

ON THE OCCASION OF

RECEPTION FOR SELECTED GRADUANDS OF THE ROYAL MILITARY COLLEGE, DUNTROON AND THE

AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE FORCE ACADEMY

GOVERNMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA

10 DECEMBER 2007

Good afternoon, and a very warm welcome from Marlena and me to Government House.

What a wonderfully exciting time to become junior leaders in our highly competent, combat tested Australian

Defence Force.

As graduands, you are formally completing an early, yet critically important component of your training,

before embarking on the next stage of your careers in the Australian Defence Force.

I know everyone has worked hard to reach this point, and I congratulate you on your achievements.

I especially want to commend the graduands’ families and friends.

Given my career experience in the Army - and the invaluable support provided over many years by Marlena,

my children and my parents — I’m acutely aware of the vital, supportive role played by families and friends

of ADF personnel.

I hope you will continue to provide that support.

Your backgrounds as graduands are quite varied and you may follow different personal and professional

paths.

Where you have a common calling is in the business of military leadership.

In this respect, I want you to remember one thing and that is the rank you reach at every level has to be

earned.

It’s never simply a right.

Those going into the combat arms will undoubtedly be asking yourself” How will I go when the first shot rings

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out?

Let me tell you, you will go well. Your training steps in and everything clicks into place, and besides from my

experience you are far too busy running the battle to be either frightened or incapable of decisive action.

I hope you’ll look back at your respective periods at RMC and ADFA as a rewarding, enjoyable and bonding

experience.

Indeed I encourage you to establish a graduating class linkage that you try to celebrate on an annual basis.

My class has met together for 50 years and it has been a special joy to be so associated for that time.

You’ve each been inspired by high ideals and learning, encouraged to achieve excellence, and inculcated with

a sense of duty, service and loyalty to the nation.

You’re entering active service with the ADF at an eventful and challenging time - a current period of “high

operational tempo” that looks likely to continue for years to come.

And given the volatile security environment in which we live — you’ll need to be intellectually and

professionally equipped to handle all manner of scenarios and contingencies, including the complexities of

counter-terrorism.

Ladies and gentlemen.

Again, let me congratulate the graduands on their sterling efforts both academically and professionally.

I wish you well for the coming week and your future careers.

Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Thank you.

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