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The King's Birthday Parade (Trooping the Colour), 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.

It is an honour and a privilege for Linda and me to be with you on this historic occasion.

Today’s Trooping the Colour parade is the first for the Royal Military College–Duntroon in the reign of His Majesty King Charles III.

Well done to all involved in this parade.

It is impressive and befitting a trooping of a King’s Colour.

Each of you on parade has made either an Oath or Affirmation on enlistment.

Whether it was to our Late Queen or His Majesty King Charles III, you have sworn to ‘well and truly serve’ and that you would ‘resist enemies and faithfully discharge your duty according to law.’

The Oath or Affirmation is just as relevant today as it was when I swore it more than 50 years ago and when the generations that came before me swore it.

We serve Australia – which is both a responsibility and privilege.

Today’s trooping of The King’s Colour is an opportunity for you to affirm that commitment.

No matter where you are and what has been asked of you, your actions reflect the qualities of our servicemen and women — both your generation and those who came before you.

Pride and loyalty to our nation.

Mateship and looking after each other.

Determination to get the job done and do it in a way that makes those you serve proud of you.

We see those same qualities embodied in people and communities across Australia.

I’m incredibly optimistic about our future. Not blindly so — I’m realistic to the challenges and decisions we face.

But I have the privilege of seeing those same characteristics writ large across our community.

To give just a few examples:

I’ve seen that gritty determination and mateship in communities devastated by the 2019-20 fires. When Linda and I first visited towns like Nymboida and Kangaroo Island, people were reeling and on their knees. But they stuck together, looked out for and helped each other and are recovering.

I’ve seen how service to others is at the core of our 11.5 million volunteers. People who selflessly want to make the lives of those around them better and their communities stronger.

I see pride in the smiles on new citizens’ faces at citizenship ceremonies; their joy in becoming Australian citizens and being part of a country of opportunity and where people look out for one another, particularly in times of need.

That is who you are and that is who you serve.

Serving in the Australian Army was the greatest privilege of my lifetime.

I hope that you feel the same.

Be proud of what you have achieved to date.

In serving, remember always those characteristics that define not only you and your colleagues but also the broader Australian community.

Make good and return the investment made in you by your families, your superiors and the Australian Defence Force.

If you do that, then you will have ‘well and truly’ served His Majesty King Charles III.