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Archbishop Peter Hollingworth Appointed Governor-General: Palace Announcement

The Prime Minister, John Howard, has announced that Archbishop Peter Hollingworth has been appointed Governor-General.

This is the text of the official announcement from the Press Secretary to the Queen.



The Queen, on the recommendation of the Prime Minister of Australia, has been pleased to approve the appointment of the Most Reverend Peter Hollingworth AO, OBE, as the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia. Archbishop Hollingworth will serve in succession to the Honourable Sir William Deane and will assume office on Friday, June 29 2001. [Read more…]

Sir William Deane: Centenary Of Federation Speech

This is the text of the speech delivered by the Governor-General, Sir William Deane, at Centennial Park in Sydney for the Centenary of Federation ceremony.

Sir William DeaneThe opening words of the national anthem we have just sung tell us to rejoice.

And so we should. For we have much to celebrate as we recall the coming together, exactly one hundred years ago today, of the six Australian colonies to “be one people”.

We all remember our gratitude and pride in Australia during the recent Olympic and Paralympic Games. We bring that same grateful pride to this celebration of our nation’s 100th birthday. [Read more…]

Sir William Deane: Centenary Of Federation Speech

This is the speech delivered by the Governor-General, Sir William Deane, to commemorate the Centenary of the Proclamation of Federation.

The Governor-General read a message from the Queen and initiated the celebrations of Australia’s Centenary of Federation, at a ceremony in Centennial Park, Sydney.

  • Listen to Sir William Deane’s speech (6m)

Sir William DeaneWe come together to Centennial Park to commemorate the proclamation of our Federation, at this place, one hundred years ago.

Together, we represent all Australians, across all States and Territories.

We also represent, as their heirs and beneficiaries, the four million people of the six Australian colonies who, “relying on the blessing of Almighty God”, came together as the Commonwealth of Australia on the First of January 1901. [Read more…]

Federation Commemoration Underway In Sydney

Federation celebrations are underway today in Sydney.

At Centennial Park, the scene of the Federation Proclamation in 1901, all State Premiers and Governors have joined with the Prime Minister, Opposition Leader and Governor-General to sign a commemorative document and unveil plaques.

The Governor-General, Sir William Deane, addressed the gathering and read a message from Australia’s Head of State, Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain.

Deane used the opportunity to again press the cause of reconciliation with Australia’s indigenous population. He referred to the provisions in the 1901 Constitution which denied citizenship and basic human rights to Aborigines, and called for 2001 to be a year of continuing efforts to promote reconciliation. [Read more…]

The Speech Howard Should Have Made

As media criticism of Prime Minister John Howard over his refusal to attend Sunday’s Reconciliation Week walk in Sydney gathered pace today, it is interesting to compare the speech he made on Saturday to Corroboree 2000 with the speech given by Sir William Deane.

DeaneThe Governor-General’s speech contrasts sharply with what the Sydney Morning Herald called the “mean spritedness” and the “deadly sameness” of the “narrow, destructive course” followed by Howard

In his speech, Deane said: “Looking back, the starting point must be an acknowledgment of facts and truths which are now too well established or obvious to be denied. The dispossession and oppression of the Aboriginal peoples of this country over most of the years of non-indigenous settlement constitute, as Justice Gaudron and I said in a case called Mabo, the darkest aspect of the history of our nation.”

Later, after listing some positive milestones for Aborigines, such as the High Court’s 1992 Mabo judgement, the Governor-General said: “Even more important than the specific milestones that I have mentioned has been the ever-increasing grass roots awareness of the importance of both national reconciliation and the battle to overcome entrenched Aboriginal disadvantage. In the years that I have been Governor-General, Helen and I have been privileged to be part of countless unforgettable instances of reconciliation at the personal level in all parts of Australia. They have done much to shape the three thoughts about reconciliation which I wish to share with you as we stand at this crossroads and look to the future.”

Governor-General Sir William Deane’s Address To Corroboree 2000

This is the text of the address to Corroboree 2000 by the Governor-General, Sir William Deane.

Governor-General Sir William Deane’s Address to Corroboree 2000.

DeaneAt the outset, I acknowledge the traditional custodians and thank them for the welcome they have given us all to their ancestral lands.

All of us who are pilgrims on the road to Aboriginal reconciliation have reached a crossroads. This is a time to pause and look back to the past, around at the present, and forward to the future. [Read more…]

Queen’s Representative To Open Olympic Games

Prime Minister Howard announced tonight that he would not be opening the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.

Instead, the games will be opened by the Governor-General, Sir William Deane.

Howard has been under pressure not to open the games since last weekend’s defeat of the republic referendum.

His announcement tonight means that the International Olympic Committee rules requiring the games to be opened by the Head of State of the host nation will be adhered to, at least in part.

As the Queen’s representative, the Governor-General, is, in Howard’s words, “effectively” Head of State.

Many monarchist supporters refused to discuss the Queen during the recent referendum campaign, prompting Paul Keating to refer to their support for the monarchy as “the love that dare not speak its name.”