The Sovereign Council is the law-making and policy making top governance of the international Order. It meets every second year. In recent years the Sovereign Council Meeting (SCM) has taken place in Vancouver, San Jose and Helsinki. In 2024, for the first time ever, it will be held in Australia. If you’ve never been to Australia this is a great opportunity and excuse to visit.
All members are encouraged to participate and to meet and get to know members from other parts of the world, to attend and observe the Sovereign Council and to participate in the forums.
The final day will see our investiture in St John's Cathedral.
The conclusion of SCM24 may coincide with Riverfire, Riverfire date for 2024 is yet to be announced.
Where in Australia
Brisbane is the capital of the state of Queensland, which claims the title of “the Sunshine State” because of the generous days of sunshine it experiences in all seasons of the year.
You’ll be here in Spring and average temperatures of 24°C (maximum) and 14°C (minimum) make September the perfect time of year to visit. Also, the water temperatures are ideal for swimming, snorkelling and exploring the Great Barrier Reef.
Not only is Brisbane itself a vibrant modern city with a rich social and cultural life. It is also the hub for accessible day trips to exciting tourist venues on the Gold Coast to the south, the Sunshine Coast to the north, the Moreton Bay islands to the east, the Scenic Rim to the south-west, and Toowoomba with its ever popular Carnival of Flowers to the west.
In April 2023, TIME magazine named Brisbane as one of the “World’s Greatest Places 2023.” Brisbane is also host city for the 2032 Olympics.
Come and see for yourself.
What is The Southern Cross
The Southern Cross comprises some of the brightest stars in the southern night sky. They are a part of the constellation Crux (“cross” in Latin), hence the English name “Southern Cross”.
For most people living in the southern hemisphere, it is a familiar sight, always present in the night sky. Down through history it has been known to mariners, and used by them. Its long axis points to the south celestial pole. Whether used with or without the Pointers, it provides an easy guide to find the direction south.
There are two other cross formations in the night sky, the Diamond cross and the False Cross, but these have no navigational value. The genuine Southern Cross is readily identifiable by its smaller fifth star and the presence of the Pointers.
The Southern Cross features prominently on our Australian flag.
While you are here at SCM24, find a place away from ambient light, and see for yourself how easy it is to find south. Instructions are here. It might even save you from getting lost while you are seeing our country!
Invitation to Our SOSJ Family
With Sovereign Council meeting in Brisbane in September, 2024, we invite you and all SOSJ members to join us, partake of our hospitality, enjoy sights and experiences unique to Australia, attend the Sovereign Council meetings, participate in the forums and generally enjoy the company of your fellow dames and knights.
You have a family of 300 brothers and sisters here in Australia, spread across five Priories, who are keen to ensure your visit is both enjoyable and memorable.
When you come, we encourage you to allow time to see some of our country. It’s a big place and there is a lot to see – from the Great Barrier Reef in the north-east to the Margaret River wineries in the south-west and things like Toowoomba’s Carnival of Flowers, the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast in between.
You may even have the good fortune to catch Brisbane’s River Festival and Riverfire but we won’t have specific dates for that until early in 2024. Please take the opportunity to join us. We will make you very welcome.
Sincerely, in the Service of Saint John,
Victor Feros OAM GCSJ CMSJ
Grand Prior of Australasia
Sunday 01 September 2024
Registration, local sightseeing, Aussie BBQ
Monday 02 September 2024
Registration, Forum day 1,local tours, WA Priory sponsored cocktails (optional)
Tuesday 03 September 2024
Registration, Forum day 2, local tours, free evening
Wednesday 04 September 2024
SCM Day 1: Registration, local tours, reception / cocktails
Friday 06 September 2024
Investiture rehearsals, investiture, gala dinner
Post SCM 24
Saturday 07 September 2024
Optional local sightseeing, Brisbane River cruise, free evening
Post SCM 24
Sunday 08 September 2024
Celebration of the lifting of the Siege of Malta, cocktails at sunset, free evening
Brisbane’s St John the Evangelist Cathedral Investiture
The Investiture Service will be held in the heritage listed Brisbane’s St John the Evangelist Cathedral which displays a mixture of French and English Victorian Gothic Revival styles, with the distinction of having the only fully stone-vaulted ceiling in Australia. It will be truly a magnificent venue and setting for the Investiture.