Over the years I have met so many remarkable Australians doing the most extraordinary things in every imaginable corner of the globe.

It now gives me the greatest pleasure to declare the 21st Commonwealth Games open.

To me, it is something of a triumph that this traditional land use continues to this day, even in the face of severe social, economic and environmental pressures.

As I reach something of a milestone in my own life later this year, I have been reflecting on how best to take that work forward to ensure my charities can keep doing the best for those people that they have been set up to help.

Can I congratulate all of you who are getting your degrees today. The one advantage you have over me is that you don’t have to make a speech – but I do know that you have put in years of hard work.

I wanted to do what I could just to highlight your achievements as individuals and as a profession and above all just to pay a very special tribute to you all because apart from anything else you’ve all been invited because you’ve made exceptional contributions in your field in so many different parts of the country.

This year, WOW will take place in 53 countries across the world. It truly is a global festival dedicated to presenting work by women and promoting equality for women and girls

The Ocean has an astonishing ability to heal itself if given the chance.  So Ladies and Gentlemen, we simply have to give it that chance, perhaps its last, for we must not only conserve what remains of these unique and vitally important ecosystems, but we must also allow Nature to restore what has already been lost.

I just wanted to use this opportunity to pay a particular tribute to your families who provide so much support and encouragement and understanding to their other halves who are so often carrying out all sorts of challenging operations here and in different parts of the world. We owe all of you in the battalions and the regiments an enormous debt of gratitude for the service and very often the sacrifice you provide.

In the worst cases a fundamental lack of confidence can hold young people back from even starting or progressing in our programmes, so it was vital that we could respond in some way to this.