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Full-time Officer Commissioning Course Graduation Parade, Royal Military College Duntroon, ACT


This is Ngunnawal Country. Today we are all meeting together on this Ngunnawal Country. We acknowledge and pay our respects to the Elders.

Good morning.

What a privilege it is for Linda and me to be part of this graduation parade.

It is indeed a special occasion for not only the next generation of young leaders in the Australian Army and the Australian Defence Force, but also their families and friends, RMC-Duntroon staff and the ADF.

Congratulations to all the cadets on parade upon achieving your graduation today and for an impressive performance on parade.

You have worked, trained and studied hard to reach this point.

You have gained the confidence of the Chief of Army in your ability and potential to be successful commanders in our Army. The same sentiment applies to the six Air Force and 16 International graduates.

Congratulations — both in recognition of your achievements to date and in anticipation of the contribution you will make to your respective nations.

I speak often at ceremonies like these about the importance of returning the investment made in you by the ADF and your families.

To have reached this stage of your career, you have already demonstrated potential.

Following this parade, you will be presented with your Commissions and Graduation certificates. You will soon be commissioned officers.

It is a significant responsibility.

That responsibility was described by a friend of mine, General Jim Mattis, retired Marine, in this way:

‘They [the people you lead] expect you to have done your homework; to have mastered your profession.’

Why? Because they will place their lives in your hands.

This is a tremendous, weighty responsibility, but I am confident that your education and training here at Duntroon will have prepared you well.

It is also a great privilege — serving your nation, protecting and advancing national interests, and carrying forward the proud legacy of your forebears.

From experience, I can tell you that there are no short cuts to being successful, to being a good leader. Do your homework, be prepared, listen intently and work hard.

The rewards for you, for those you lead and the Australian Army will come.

In closing, thank you to:

The families and friends of the graduands — your support has been critical in enabling these fine young men and women to reach this point in their lives. You are as much a part of the success we are celebrating today as your loved ones.

And also the staff at the College — thank you for your input into the cadets’ education and training, and also for the support you have provided them. You can take immense pride in the next generation of officers you have helped produce.

Finally, a word to the graduands: this day has been long awaited by you, your families, and the Australian Army or your parent Service. It has now come.

Enjoy this moment.

You deserve your success.

Congratulations and good luck in the future.