Today was a special day for Save the Children. Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, who's been President of Save the Children in the United Kingdom (UK) for more than four decades, was delighted to visit Save the Children beneficiaries and staff in Brisbane today.
Princess Anne was warmly welcomed by Aboriginal Brisbane Elder, Uncle Joe Kirk. She had the chance to meet beneficiaries from our Domestic and Family Violence Refuge program, which provides much-needed support for women and children escaping family violence.
She also met some of our supporters, including Frederika Westerman, who has been a regular donor and active supporter of Save the Children for many years. Frederika has left a bequest to Save the Children Australia, which she considers a long-term investment in the future for the world's most disadvantaged children.
"I was a young child when darkness descended upon The Netherlands with the invasion of Nazi Germany. The brutal cut from the poetry and beauty enveloping the life of a young child – to an environment of hatred, oppression and death – brings unforgettable fear," said Frederika.
"Having experienced that, one of my main pursuits in life was to make a contribution, wherever I was, towards the improvement of the life of children.
"Before I embarked on a professional career, I was involved in voluntary work. Within that context, my attention was directed to children and I became President of the Save the Children, in Canberra, in the early sixties.
"Save the Children is a very special organisation and, in a very understated way, it makes a tremendous contribution in many parts of the world.
"It was a delight to meet Princess Anne in person in Brisbane. Her devotion, genuine interest in children, strength and simplicity are an example and tribute to the modern monarchy.
"Altogether, it was a memorable visit."
Save the Children Australia CEO Paul Ronalds agreed it was tremendous to have Her Royal Highness in Brisbane.
"Princess Anne has been a leading voice for children for a long time through her role as Save the Children UK President, which she has now held for more than 40 years. It's a privilege to have her visit our staff, programs and the children we support both in Brisbane and Vanuatu," he said.
Her Royal Highness spoke at length with the Australian Children's Commissioner, donors and other partners about how domestic violence affects communities around the world. She agreed that the global community needs to do more to address violence towards children.
Princess Anne is in Australia for four days. She will then spend five days in Vanuatu where she will visit Save the Children's health, child protection, disaster risk reduction and climate change awareness programs. She will meet health workers, villagers, and families and children living with disabilities.
Her Royal Highness' Australasian tour comes just weeks after she returned from Ethiopia and Tanzania where she travelled to remote areas, stayed in basic accommodation and experienced more of Save the Children's work first-hand.