Address to RMC Graduation Parade

28 June 2022

Congratulations on an outstanding parade, you look really impressive out there and a great way to send off this graduating class – congratulations.

I also extend my appreciation and thanks to the band of the Royal Military College, as ever, adding so much to this very special occasions. Thank you.

I acknowledge that we are here on the land of the Ngunawal people and pay my respects to elders past, present and emerging and acknowledge all First Nations people here today.

The Hon Matt Thistlewaite representing the Prime Minister and the Minister for Defence.

Your Excellencies, Heads of Mission, Attaches, and international guests Rear Admiral Peter Quinn representing the Chief of Navy, Air Vice Marshal Steve Meredith representing the Chief of Air Force, Regimental Sergeant Major – Army Warrant Officer Grant McFarlane, Army’s Generals and their RSMs, Commandant and Staff of the Royal Military College Duntroon.

Serving members, veterans.

Together with my wife Bronwyn, I extend a warm welcome to partners, families and friends.

Many of you have travelled great distances to be here for this special occasion. Thank you for the support and encouragement you have provided through their training, support that will continue to be important as they content with the demands of leadership.

I acknowledge all Corps of Staff Cadets on parade, and especially the graduating class.

Thank you for choosing to serve and having the courage to lead. Well done on what you have achieved and what you have learned through this demanding course.

You are entering our Army at an exciting time. An Army that is an extraordinary national institution, with strong traditions and a proud reputation at home and around the world. An Army which our government and all Australians understandably have high expectations of.

We are an Army that is actively engaged in the region, undertaking significant modernisation and always training and preparing to be Ready Now and Future Ready.

We are in perpetual motion – always on, always adapting and evolving. We have many capabilities, increasingly technical, specialised and more effective. But our most important capability is our people. And our people capability is immense. We are an Army full of talent, expertise and experience, and it is our inherent advantage in an increasingly complex and interconnected world.

Leadership is key to unlocking that potential. Leadership is your core obligation. Much will be asked of you and expected of you. For leading Australian soldiers is an extraordinary privilege and enormous responsibility.

Be the role model your Army needs and your soldiers expect. Lead for all of your people, all the time. Lead with purpose, integrity and humility. Always do the right thing and expect the same of others. Simply, live our values of service, courage, respect, integrity and excellence.

Live what Army knows and judges itself against and that is Good Soldiering.

As you go forth, you will continue the great story of our Army and build on the great legacy and traditions on those that have gone before. This includes those who also stood on this parade ground feeling this same excitement, and likely that same apprehension you might be feeling right now.

Some members of that extensive alumni of graduates from RMC-Duntroon are here today. Here remembering the strong bond of RMC of that formative and shared experience of their time at Duntroon, while giving a nod to you because they are proud of this institution which we all share and of which you are now custodians.

You will forever be part of this alumni that extends around the world. A network which is vital in this increasingly connected world where relationships matter.

As I transfer command of the Army this Friday and finish my career after beginning the journey right here in this place 40 years ago, I couldn’t be more proud. Proud and humbled by what our Army does and living our motto of “Serving the Nation”.

Wherever we go, wherever we need to go and whatever we need to do, we are always rising to the occasion to achieve our mission. Always inspired by our people, the amazing men and women who choose to serve, put others before themselves, to work with others, to make a difference regardless of the circumstances.

It has been an honour to have served and to have shared some unique experiences over many years and many different circumstances. I leave knowing that our future is in great hands because you now carry that mantel.

You are our next generation of leaders to lead our people, nurture our institution, and write the next chapter of our ongoing service to our nation.

As your Chief of Army, I am proud of you, and have every confidence in you. I know you are ready and I know you will lead well.

It has been an honour to be part of this chapter and this special moment for you today. I wish you all the very best for the future.

Congratulations, good luck, and Good Soldiering