Australian of the Year 2018 - Goverment House Reception

24 January 2018

Government House in Canberra is a perfect place for an evening soiree. Especially after a hot steamy summer’s day when the rain was imminent but stayed away and the guests on this night were the finalists for the Australian of the Year Awards at the first of the many social events they were to attend before the award announcements.

Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove in his affable way joined the guests to meet and greet, chat and enjoy the company of the finalists and their partners, catch up with defence Chiefs, a department secretary and previous recipients of Australian of the Year awards as well as those responsible for the choosing of the 32winners from states and territories and the National Australia Day Council Board who select the four winners.  

Sir Peter Cosgrove whispered in my ear that Lynne would be down soon as she’d just zipped in from baby- sitting duties interstate and the plane was delayed. That’s the kind of couple they are, easy going, genuinely interested, splendid at this demanding job but able to find balance between family and work.

The guests wandered the gardens and of course they were picture perfect with lush lawns you just want to roll about on, sipped on a few quiet drinks before the welcome speech and a buffet dinner.

For me it’s a chance to catch up with former recipients with among them this year Rosie Batty, Robert De Castella-  Deek to those who know him – and Professor Patrick McGorry, while as always being reluctant to pick a winner. I gave that up years ago and now just enjoy the opportunity to meet the finalists at this most perfect evening to enjoy the hospitality at Canberra’s best address.