Bandar Seri Begawan - Muara Beach, a location significant for being the landing site of Australian troops who liberated Brunei from the Japanese occupation in 1945, is set to receive high-ranking Australian officials when Australian Governor-General Quentin Bryce AC CVO and her husband, Micheal Bryce AM AE, attend a wreath-laying ceremony at the Australia-Brunei memorial site at the said beach.
Ms Bryce, who is in the country for a three-day State Visit starting today, is the first Australian Governor-General (Head of State) on a State Visit here since Brunei gained its independence in 1984.
The visit will incorporate a ceremonial welcome and discussions hosted by His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, a roundtable discussion with representatives of the Brunei Women's Associations on October 3, and a wreath-laying ceremony at Muara Beach on October 4.
Mrs Bryce's itinerary includes a visit to the Royal Regalia Building, and according to the embassy, she will also embark on a river cruise to Kampong Ayer and stop by the Kampong Ayer Tourism and Cultural Gallery and the residence of a village head.
According to the embassy's Liaison Officer, Mrs Bryce will also meet members of the Australian community in Brunei as well as the local students alumni, Australia being one of the largest destinations for Bruneians pursuing their further studies.
An Australian Governor-General is an interesting post, quite unique to Australia. The office of Governor-General was established by the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901.
The Governor-General is appointed by the Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister. After receiving the commission, the Governor-General takes an Oath of Allegiance and an Oath of Office to the Queen and issues a proclamation assuming office.
The Governor-General's appointment is at the Queen's pleasure, that is, without a term being specified. In practice, however, there is an expectation that appointments will be for around five years, subject on occasion, to some extension.
A former Governor of Queensland, Mrs Bryce is Australia's first woman Governor-General, and she is the 25th Governor-General of Australia.
--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin