Reception for the Invictus Games Foundation
Government House Sydney
His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret'd)
On behalf of everyone here, thank you Uncle Chicka for your welcome to Gadigal land. We are proud to stand with you on this great occasion. And I pay my respects to you and your fellow Elders, past and present.
In selecting Sydney for the Invictus Games, Prince Harry - The Duke of Sussex and Patron of the Invictus Games Foundation, said:
‘We had three key criteria. First, it had to be an iconic city – somewhere known the world over.
Second, it needed to be a city with a proud military heritage, which would welcome competitors from all over the world with open arms.
And finally, we wanted to go somewhere where they are absolutely sports mad and would really get behind our competitors.’
Your Royal Highness, we applaud your profound and impeccable judgement in choosing Sydney, and we warmly welcome you and Her Royal Highness on your first visit together to Government House, to Sydney and to New South Wales.
But if that wasn’t enough, you also chose New South Wales to announce the happy news that you are expecting your first child. There will forever be a special relationship between New South Wales and your baby as the very first announcement - from the best State in Australia - of a royal pregnancy. We congratulate you both!
The Invictus Games celebrate and demonstrate the healing power of sport and the importance of connecting with one’s support network of family and friends from around the globe.
At its core, these Games are, of course, about you – the competitors. They are a powerful symbol of personal triumph over what is, for most of us, unfathomable adversity. But, also, the Games and you inspire us all to look beyond, to find renewed strength and a new and positive focus on the future.
Prior to becoming Governor of New South Wales, I was the Chief of the Australian Defence Force. It is perhaps no surprise, then, that I am deeply committed to the ethos and the vision of the Invictus Games - in no small part because of my own experiences working with and alongside the brave men and women of both Australian and foreign defence services.
“Unconquered” is what Invictus means – and that is what you are.
I wish you all the very best throughout the Games. Today I also acknowledge the support that you receive from your teams and your families. I thank the commitment of the sponsors and Games partners. And I commend the tireless work of the Foundation and Invictus Games Sydney.
On behalf of Linda and I, a very warm welcome to Government House to all of you. Enjoy, celebrate and have fun during your time in Sydney and New South Wales.