Australians have woken today to the sad news of the end of the Elizabethan era.
The passing of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II brings to a close an extraordinary and historic reign of grace, strength, dignity and duty.
Her Majesty was the rock of the Commonwealth and for so many a rock in their own lives, whose constancy enabled them to carry on.
Over the course of her long reign she lived with a deep passion, warmth, interest and kind fondness to all of the nations and peoples she served as our Majesty and who had the great fortune to call her their Queen, especially Australia.
In our last conversation at Windsor Castle last year, Her Majesty spoke of her great admiration for the strength and resilience of Australians in the face of the many challenges we had faced. And she had a special place in her heart for our rural and regional communities, knowing the many hardships they had faced, not just recently, but over the many decades of her reign.
For generations we have proclaimed God Save the Queen and now she has entered her eternal rest with Him and joined again with her beloved Phillip.
Jenny and I send our deepest condolences and sympathies to King Charles III, Prince William and all the Royal Family. We join with with those grieving her passing all around the world today.
But above all we give thanks to God for the gift of Queen Elizabeth II and say well done good and faithful servant.
God save the King. Advance Australia Fair.