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Address at the unveiling of Australiana Fund Sculpture, The Lodge.

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27 April 2001




Well Richard, Mrs Griffin, Mrs Inge King, ladies and gentlemen. Janette and I are delighted to have you here at the Lodge on this beautiful Canberra Autumn morning.

I�d like to take the opportunity of saying a few words in praise of the work of the Australiana Fund over the last thirty years. Naturally my acquaintance with it has been close over the last five years and Janette and I have taken a very close interest and a very appreciative interest in the work that it�s done. And it has in that period of time been responsible for the accumulation and the benefaction through its fund raising efforts to the four official establishments of some beautiful pieces of furniture, some fine works of art, and as Richard indicated the conservative value is somewhere in the order of $3.5 million. And to you Richard and to all the other members of the council, a number if whom are here today, I express the warm thanks of the government.

It was a great idea of Tamie Fraser�s back in 1978 to establish the Australian Fund and the work that it�s under taken ever since I think has enhanced the appearance, the quality and the value of the four official residences. I think it is appropriate that we in the year of the Centenary of Federation that we unveil on the same day here at the Lodge and at Yarralumla two pieces of art work commissioned by the Australiana Fund marking the Centenary of Federation, sculptured by two very eminent Australians who are so widely respected within

the artistic community not only here but around the world. And Inge, it�s a great delight to have you here with us. I know that you were here during the physical installation of the work of art that we are about to unveil. But it�s an opportunity for me on your behalf to salute your work. Since you arrived in Australia way back in 1951 and particularly in recent years when your work has won wide acclaim from not only around Australian but indeed throughout the world.

We are doing many things in this year of the Centenary of Federation. This is but a small but a very very important occasion. And again can I say how much I value it and I know that my predecessors as Prime Ministers from 1978 onwards valued the work of the Australiana Fund and it�s a fund that will go on. As governments come and go the Australiana Fund will continue because it is dedicated to a quiet unassuming role in soliciting and attracting support from individuals and from companies for the purpose of adding to the beauty and the taste and the colour of four very fine official residences. And certainly for our part Janette and I have found the work of the Fund positive in so many ways and we are very much in the debt of all of those who have worked so very hard to make it successful. Many of you are here today. I thank you. You are a small group but you�re very dedicated and your work is greatly appreciated by me, by Janette, and I know by many others in the government.

Welcome and we look forward to chatting with you over morning tea in a few moments. Thank you.


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