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16 May 2023, 12:51
Victorian Legislative Council, Melbourne

David ETTERSHANK (Western Metropolitan):

I rise to congratulate King Charles III on his coronation. Speaking at the funeral of Queen Elizabeth, David White, the Garter Principal King of Arms, captured a nation’s aspirations when he said:

Let us humbly beseech Almighty God to bless with long life, health and honour, and all worldly happiness the Most High, Most Mighty and Most Excellent Monarch, our Sovereign Lord –

Charles III

– now, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of His other Realms and Territories King, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith, and Sovereign of the Most Noble Order of the Garter.

What Australian in this richly multicultural nation could but relate to such a turn of phrase!

I hope and pray that history will be kind to King Charles III and that he successfully reconciles his long history of advocacy with the requisite impartiality of a constitutional monarch. That said, I hope and pray that history records King Charles’s continued advocacy on environmental issues, particularly climate change, where he has called for bold action by governments for decades. I hope and pray that history records his continued advocacy for the importance of providing youth with access to skills and training. I hope and pray that history records his continued advocacy on the rights of asylum seekers and refugees.

Finally, I hope and pray that history records him as the last King of Australia as it peacefully transitions to a republic and, further, that history records that this occurred but a few short years after this profoundly multicultural country constitutionally recognised 60,000 years of continuous Indigenous ownership by Voice, truth telling and treaty.


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