50 Days to the Commonwealth Games Reception, Admiralty House
I acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we meet, the Cammeraygal People of the Eora Nation, and pay my respects to their elders, past and present, emerging leaders and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders gathered here today.
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Admiralty House.
I don’t know which sporting analogy to use, but the bell for the final lap has rung, we’ve turned for home, the three-quarter time siren has gone.
Basically, we’re close and after years of preparation, hard work and commitment the 2022 Commonwealth Games are just weeks away.
As a spectator and fan it is exciting enough.
I can only imagine the emotion and anticipation members of the team are feeling.
Linda and I have just returned from the United Kingdom where we attended Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
The atmosphere as you might expect was incredible.
It really was a celebration …
… of Her Majesty and her remarkable reign …
… of the Commonwealth to which she has been so devoted …
… and of, I believe, the simple act of people coming together, cheering in common cause and being part of an event.
The latter, of course, is something that after the last two years we no longer take for granted.
I mention the Jubilee celebrations only to give a flavour of the atmosphere that you can expect on the ground.
It will be electric.
There are few greater honours than representing your country.
I know that, for the athletes, their time in Birmingham is the result of countless hours toiling away from the spotlight.
Of a lifetime of dedication and discipline.
Similarly, for the broader team – the coaches, medical staff and support teams – Birmingham comes after much work and reflects professional and passionate commitment to the cause.
My message to the team is twofold:
First, enjoy it. Enjoy the experience and what it represents for you personally, for your loved ones and for those watching back home. You should be very proud.
Second, and I know you don’t need me to say this, but the job is not done. Represent us with pride, do your very best and showcase the spirit, fairness and competitiveness that represents who we are as Australians.
In doing so, you will inspire a nation.
To close, enjoy this afternoon.
The uniforms being unveiled look tremendous. RM Williams is an iconic Australian brand and I know the athletes and team will wear the uniforms with pride.
Linda and I are very much looking forward to the Games and cheering the team on in-person.
It will be an incredible experience for all and we wish you the very best of luck.