Today is a day of great loss, sadness and grief across the Commonwealth.
Like millions of Australians, I woke to the news this morning that Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II has died.
For the seven decades of her rule, Her Majesty was a bedrock of stability in an ever-changing world.
Her grace and humility in good times, as well as her strength and resolve in times of strife were unparalleled.
Her character was one where all those who spent time in her presence came away with a story that will echo through their own families for generations. That was the power of her personal warmth and dedication to service.
Loved and respected for her grace, good humour, and devotion to duty, since the time of Churchill and Menzies, she has reigned with wisdom, discretion and kindness.
Generations of Australians have only ever known one monarch, but Her Majesty was so much more than that. She was also a mother, and grandmother, a great-grandmother, and a wife.
The sight of her alone at Prince Philip’s funeral last year broke the planet’s heart. It was searing. In what will be a difficult day, I take solace they are now together again.
As a nation, we will spend days, weeks, years, in discussion of her remarkable service to Australia, the Commonwealth, and the United Kingdom.
Our thoughts are with His Majesty, King Charles III, the royal family and our friends in the United Kingdom.
Her life of service to her nation, her family and the Commonwealth will echo through the annals of history.
May she rest in peace.