Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO has ended her term as the first female Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia today, after performing her last public appearances in this role.
Dame Quentin left Government House with a full police escort bound for the Australian War Memorial. She arrived at the AWM with her husband, Michael, and both were greeted by Dr Brendan Nelson, Director of the AWM. She went on to lay a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier in a mark of respect in her role as Commander-in-chief of the Australian Defence Forces.
The retiring Governor-General then toured the roll of remembrance and braved the rain to wave to onlookers, including a large group of schoolchildren waiting to visit the AWM. After this visit, Dame Quentin was driven to the Royal Australian Air Force base, Fairbairn. This base is home to 34 Squadron who operate the VIP fleet for the Australian Government, servicing a wide range of clients from the Prime Minister to Royalty.
At RAAF Base Fairbairn, she was received by the Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his wife Margie, as well as opposition leader, and her son-in-law, Bill Shorten. The Federation Guard were out in force to give the Governor-General a proper send off as Dame Quentin reviewed the troops and received a 21 gun salute.
She was then flown to Brisbane to be reunited with her family, her children and grandchildren, who greeted her with a handmade poster saying “Dame Dee Dee, we love you, welcome home”. Dame Quentin has made it clear she hopes to write a book to tell her story about her time as Governor-General.
Peter Cosgrove will be sworn in as the next Governor-General on Friday 28th March at a ceremony at Parliament House.