Queen Elizabeth II, a model servant of the public

On the day I heard of the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, I used to be speaking with a work colleague who shared my Irish heritage. My forebears got here from County Clare 4 generations in the past; he got here to Australia from Ireland through Bahrain 20 years in the past. While neither of us are pure monarchists, we mirrored on our shared admiration for the qualities of the late Queen: she was decided, loyal, stoic. She was a nice chief, mirrored my colleague.

We agreed she displayed all the qualities we search for in public sector leaders. More to the level, she was an admirable servant of the public. A model public servant.

My earliest recollections of the Queen got here from her imprint on the cash in my pocket after I was a younger little one shopping for lollies at the native milk bar. I remembered having fun with the Queen’s Birthday public vacation, particularly in more moderen years at the MCG when the Collingwood Football Club at all times performed Melbourne.

I recalled the nationwide celebrations when her son Charles, now Australia’s new Head of State, King Charles III, married Lady Diana Spencer. We had a ‘Charles and Di’ seaside towel at house regardless that our household had been under no circumstances monarchists. I used to be impressed in later years to know of the Queen’s love of horse racing, along with her finest lead to the Melbourne Cup again in 1997 when her part-owned stayer Arabian Story ran sixth to Might and Power.

Like many others throughout Australia and round the world, I felt I acquired to know Queen Elizabeth II higher by means of the modern streaming sequence The Crown. Even although her character in the sequence was primarily based on a combine of factual report and fictional colouring, I gained an understanding of the historic context by which she was topped: an abdicating uncle in King Edward VIII, adopted by the untimely demise of her father, King George VI, and her being thrust into the cost and light-weight of historical past at her accession in 1952 at the age of 25.

What I favored most about the depiction of her character in the sequence was her focus, her loyalty and the integrity with which she approached her function as the constitutional Head of State of the United Kingdom.

We know that all through her life she had a profound sense of the accountability of management and the significance of governance. She confirmed a super capacity to work with folks from all sides of politics and to supply smart counsel and steerage, main by means of affect slightly than the energy to direct. Her single reign lined the premierships of 15 British prime ministers, together with 16 in Australia and 16 in New Zealand. In the earlier years of her reign she lived by means of the Suez Crisis and the Seventies Oil Crisis, and, nearer to house, the 1975 Dismissal of prime minister Gough Whitlam by her consultant as constitutional head of the Australian State, governor-general Sir John Kerr.

At the finish of the 20th century, approaching her golden jubilee, she witnessed the finish of the Cold War. In the 21st century, her reign noticed the onset of local weather change, digitisation, the dramatic progress of social media and the collapse of huge distances between many individuals and locations throughout the world.

All the whereas, Queen Elizabeth II stayed targeted and clear about her function as monarch and Head of State in the United Kingdom and throughout many commonwealth nations, together with Australia.

Upon the passing of the late Queen, my reflections turned to the classes she supplied as a model servant of the public. At many instances in her life, she confronted the heart-wrenching challenges of balancing the private and the skilled, and of remembering her oath to serve others to her final day. She projected stability and permanency, and was knowledgeable and apolitical.

For the late Queen, governance was not a dry idea when contemplating the long-term pursuits of the Crown set towards her private and infrequently tragic and confronting household life. She was pressured to make fixed sacrifices, to look and suppose past her speedy circumstances to the stewardship of her function as Head of State. She acted prudently and punctiliously and discovered from errors, all the whereas beneath the intense glare of the media. She thought past these challenges and pressures to the folks she was there to serve: that is the essence and spirit of public service.

In the previous few days now we have heard from our present prime minister, Anthony Albanese MP, in addition to a quantity of previous Australian prime ministers. The widespread themes of their reflections are her integrity and dedication to service. Prime minister Albanese referred to her “lengthy life dedicated to obligation, household, religion and repair”, and her efficiency of these duties with “constancy, integrity and respect for everybody she met.”

Former prime minister Paul Keating, a staunch republican, famous the altering cultural dynamics in Australia and throughout the world throughout her reign: “In the twentieth century, the self grew to become privatised, whereas the public realm, the realm of the public good, was broadly uncared for. Queen Elizabeth understood this and instinctively hooked up herself to the public good towards what she recognised as a tidal wave of non-public curiosity and personal reward. And she did this for a lifetime. Never deviating.”

What the late monarch has taught us is essential to our democratic establishments in Victorian and throughout Australia, inherited from traditions of conventions of the British monarchy and parliament: the manner we serve is as vital as the legal guidelines, establishments and conventions we uphold on behalf of our communities. A model public servant attaches themselves to the public good.

I replicate on the native context, of the seven public sector values that underpin the Victorian Public Service (VPS) in our state: responsiveness, integrity, impartiality, accountability, respect, management and human rights. All of these values might be seen in several methods in the reign of the late Queen.

The seven VPS public sector values had been enshrined in legislation by the Victorian parliament by means of the Public Administration Act 2004. This similar parliament is the successor to the first Legislative Council after which Parliament of the Colony of Victoria, named after Queen Victoria, the great-great-grandmother of Elizabeth II. This similar colony federated with 5 different colonies in 1901 to turn out to be the Commonwealth of Australia. These seven values are actual; they form the manner we do our work in the present day in the VPS. When we connect ourselves to those values, we enhance the companies we ship for folks and communities throughout Victoria.

The historical past of the British monarchy in Australia — and the manner many of us really feel about it in the present day — is advanced. Many of us look to the close to future as we debate the deserves of Australia changing into a republic. Many folks throughout our continent whose ancestors had been right here for greater than sixty-five thousand years earlier than the British landed on these shores wait with hope and ache for truth-telling, reconciliation, Treaty and a Voice to our nationwide Parliament. Many have come to Australia from different shores — with different monarchs, elected leaders, presidents, communities, and households — to whom the late Queen could have been a distant and curious picture amidst the noise and exhaustion of each day life. Many can’t start to fathom the immense wealth and energy that accrued over centuries to the British Crown.

In acknowledging this complexity of our Australian historical past, I come again to the classes I discovered from what I understood to be the life and reign of Queen Elizabeth II: we should suppose deeply about the governing establishments that maintain our nation collectively. We ought to be beneficiant with our time and phrases, and gracious beneath stress. If we’re privileged to work in the public service, we should take into consideration those that we’re right here to serve: our native communities, companies, the environment, the first peoples of our lands, and their generations previous, current and rising.

Be respectful of our governance. Be clear. Use proof to make choices that affect the lives of others. Attach ourselves to the spirit of service and our public sector values. Think past ourselves and our messy, noisy, each day lives. Remember we’re all human and make errors.

Remember that these treasured guidelines and establishments of governments inside which we work are right here to guard and serve others, together with our future generations. Remember the spirit of service that the late Queen Elizabeth II, with all her strengths, flaws and knowledge, at all times stored near her coronary heart.


Glyn Davis reflects on the Queen


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