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Thursday 13 December 2018

As your Governor I have once again been privileged to serve you during another busy and rewarding year for Queensland.

This year has again shown Kaye and me that ours is a vast State with a diverse landscape, presenting challenges for rural, regional and remote communities.

Sadly, this has been the case in recent weeks, with unprecedented fires across Queensland.

Our thoughts are with everyone impacted by the fires, and indeed all those taking part in the ongoing relief efforts.

Through drought, and now fires, our State spirit of resilience and optimism, of care and compassion, is engrained in our communities.

As Queenslanders we celebrate our success and share our struggles, never too far from a helpful hand. We are bound by a common maroon thread.

These traits were on full display during Regional Government House in August, when we spoke with Queenslanders from all walks of life about the challenges facing our communities in Cairns, Georgetown, Palm Island, Weipa, Pormpuraaw, Kowanyama and Blackall.

During the year we were also pleased to visit Townsville, Cloncurry, Thargomindah, Quilpie, Dalby, Charters Towers, Roma, Winton and Longreach, meeting many hundreds of people, learning of their challenges and experiencing the warmth, generosity and sincerity of our State.

We celebrated in April as Queensland hosted the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, with competition from Coolangatta to Cairns.

More than 6,600 athletes and officials from 71 nations converged on the State, while a worldwide television audience was treated to a showcase of sport, sun, surf and sand.

In November we turned our attention to the end of the first world war, and to the promise of peace and new beginnings, and Kaye and I were deeply honoured to represent Queenslanders at commemorations to mark the Centenary of the Armistice at Hyde Park Corner in London and Villers-Bretonneux in France.

Despite the ideals of 1918, conflict continues in the world, and as the festive season approaches we remember and thank all who have served, and all who continue to serve.

For our part, Kaye and I will again open the grounds of Fernberg for the nightly Government House Christmas Lights display from 7 to 16 December.

We look forward to enjoying this uplifting event with as many people as possible.

To our fellow Queenslanders, we offer our warmest best wishes for the season. May it be filled with joy, happiness and the unique sense of spirit that comes with calling our State home.