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Speech at the presentation of the 2004 Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Awards, Government House, Canberra.



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SPEECH BY HIS EXCELLENCY

MAJOR GENERAL MICHAEL JEFFERY AC CVO MC (Retd) GOVERNOR-GENERAL OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA PRESENTATION OF THE 2004 WINSTON CHURCHILL MEMORIAL

TRUST AWARDS GOVERNMENT HOUSE FRIDAY, 13 AUGUST 2004

Mr Paul Tys, Chief Executive Officer Sir David Smith, Director Mr Bruce Bell, ACT Regional Secretary Churchill Fellows Families and friends

It is a tremendous pleasure for Marlena and me to welcome you to Government House to take part in the award presentations to our four highly deserving Churchill Fellows from the ACT for 2004.

I believe the words of Winston Churchill summarise what the Awards represent: “genius springs from every part and every class of the land. You cannot tell where you will be able to unearth a wonder.” May I also add that compassion, creativity, intelligence and Australian “know-how” springs from every part of our land and these qualities are invariably manifest in the character of the Fellows.

As the Trust declares, the Fellowships are awards of opportunity. I see in the recipients’ projects - nurturing a passion for teaching, the use of theatre as a tool for community building, in services for the vision impaired, and aged care for indigenous communities - wonderful sources of inspiration, of participation, and of contribution to the Australian community.

Nearly forty years ago when the Fellowships were established, they immediately captured the public’s imagination. I believe this was because of the extraordinary range of the fields of study undertaken by the Fellows and their diverse backgrounds.

As recipients you are now members of a large family numbering 2,859 Fellows, drawn from all areas of the Australian community, encompassing almost forty years.

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.

But of course the most significant feature of the Churchill Trust is to be found in the personal characters of the Fellows themselves. As we have seen today, 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.

In conclusion, on behalf of all involved in the Churchill Trust, may I wish you well in your further studies and research.

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 an admired and respected example to our region and the rest of the world.

My thanks also to the staff of the Trust for the superb job they all do in selecting and managing such worthwhile Fellowship winners.

Note: Ask the Trust officials and recipients to join you and Mrs Jeffery for a group photograph in front of the piano.