You have come a long way since your founding in 1950 as the Junior Farmers’ Club of Tasmania! I can happily state as Tasmania’s 29th Governor that I wasn’t born then. Your organisation has showed wonderful staying power and resilience through good times and lean times. It is characteristic of our rural industries and farming in particular, that you are ever-reliant on unpredictable weather patterns and fluctuating market demands.
Tasmanian Governors have always enjoyed close relationships with the rural sector. There has been a continual attendance at the larger Royal agricultural shows as well as smaller regional shows. There have also been Governors’ visits to schools and visits by schools with agricultural components to Government House. The agisted cows in the Government House paddocks delight locals and tourists alike. They must surely be Australia’s only cows overlooking a capital city’s Central Business District!
I look forward to continuing the Vice-Regal Patronage of the Rural Youth Organisation of Tasmania. I also look forward to my first attendance with my husband Don Chalmers at the next Agfest.
May I conclude by reminding all young Tasmanians why the Rural Youth Organisation of Tasmania is not only surviving but thriving. Simply, you have a place for everyone. You state so neatly on your website:
“But what if I don't live or work on a farm?” “That is OK! Not all members live or work on farms. In many instances the only thing members have in common is that they are young people interested in developing themselves, meeting new people and having fun.”
It is a wonderful incentive. I will be sure to remember this when I travel around our wonderful island and meet young Tasmanians from all walks of life.
Her Excellency the Honourable Barbara Baker AC
Governor of Tasmania