Welcome address and official launch of the Hall of Valour, by the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce AC.
Ladies and gentlemen, I am delighted to join you here this evening, at our treasured War Memorial.
It has been a special and sacred place for me since I first visited when I was at university.
There's a constancy and assurance in its presence, its handsome bearing its gentle, compassionate touch.
This ageless shrine holds our nation's memory of human endeavour and sacrifice in war.
Across generations, meticulous custodians have unwrapped the Memorial's annals for all Australians to see: you've urged us to come in close, helped us make sense of them, and been sure to place them, at the heart of our country's history and maturing.
This Hall of Valour is a natural and timely progression of this undertaking.
In the regathering and reframing, the demeanour and arrangement of this space seek to reflect our experience of contemporary life, and our anticipation of where it may take us next.
Friends, the Victoria Cross, the highest acknowledgement of bravery in battle, was instituted more than 150 years ago by Queen Victoria.
In 1956, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, spoke at a parade in London's Hyde Park to mark the centenary of that occasion.
In recalling that troops from throughout the Commonwealth had received the supreme award, she said: