Australia’s Head of State, the British Queen Elizabeth II, speaking in her capacity as Head of the Commonwealth, has officially opened the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Coolum, on the Sunshine Coast, in Queensland.
- Listen to the Queen’s speech (7m)
- Listen to Don McKinnon, Commonwealth Secretary-General (7m)
- Listen to the opening music (16m)
- Listen to Waltzing Matilda (3m)
Text of Queen Elizabeth II’s speech at the opening of CHOGM.
Mr Prime Minister, Mr Secretary General, President Mbeki, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am very pleased to be with you today in Coolum. I am delighted that this meeting takes place in Australia, one of the Commonwealth’s founding members. I know it was originally planned to coincide with the Centenary of Federation last year, but that is still recent enough for us to congratulate the people of this country on that major milestone in their history. May I thank you, Mr Prime Minister, for the warm welcome we have all received in Australia.
May I also express my best wishes to you, Mr Secretary General, as you embark on your important responsibilities at this your first Heads of Government Meeting in your present post, although you are of course no stranger to Commonwealth meetings.