Media releases

University honoured to host Royal visit

Posted: Monday 9 April 2018

Federation University Australia showcased its students and research at a luncheon for His Royal Highness The Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex KG GCVO, at the Mt Helen Campus on Sunday, 8 April.

The University’s student leaders and academics joined other dignitaries and business representatives for the special event.

“The University is deeply honoured to host HRH The Earl of Wessex and share his passion for volunteerism and The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award,” Professor Helen Bartlett, Vice-Chancellor, said.

Prior to the luncheon HRH The Earl of Wessex experienced a Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony at the University.

The program included showing HRH The Earl of Wessex concept plans for a refurbished Sports Science facility at the Mt Helen Campus. 

Guests were treated to a performance by the Arts Academy’s renowned vocal ensemble Word of Mouth.

At the conclusion of the luncheon, HRH The Earl of Wessex planted a tree at the Student Commons Courtyard. Seedlings for the new tree have been gathered from the University’s Tree of Knowledge, which was planted more than 120 years ago.

The visit to the University by HRH The Earl of Wessex was the first by a member of the Royal Family since Prince Charles visited in 1974.


HRH The Earl of Wessex is in Australia to attend the Commonwealth Games and undertake additional engagements to recognise and promote The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award in Australia.

HRH The Earl of Wessex, who is the Chair of The Board of Trustees of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation, will attend 32 engagements across Melbourne, Ballarat, Hobart, Brisbane, and Adelaide, from formal receptions, Award presentations, meetings with government officials and the community sector, to meeting Award Participants and their families at community centres. 

The events will enable HRH The Earl of Wessex to engage with over 1,000 young people undertaking the Award, and over 3,400 Award volunteers and supporters who will have the opportunity to discuss their activities and showcase the work being done to help young Australians dream big, challenge themselves and find their purpose, passion and place in the world.

HRH The Earl of Wessex’s visit celebrates significant milestones and growth in the diversity of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award program in Australia. 

“The Award’s relevance to all young Australians is as important today as it was when it started over 60 years ago,” Mr Peter Kaye AM, Chief Executive Officer of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award – Australia, said.

“Employers in particular are recognising the ‘soft skills’ that are so necessary for a well prepared future employee.”

Contact Matthew Freeman
Senior Advisor, Media and Government Relations
03 5327 9510; 0408 519 674