Speeches

The Governor is invited to speak at a wide range of significant official, ceremonial and community events, including the Opening of Parliament, ANZAC Day ceremonies and events for Patron groups. A selection of these speeches is available below in a searchable database.

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 at The Centre, Beaudesert

Official Launch of “War Stories and Our Town – An Anthology from the Scenic Rim”

Thank you, Mr Page, for your Welcome to Country; I acknowledge and pay respects to the Traditional Owners; understanding our Indigenous past is essential to understanding our State’s future.

I acknowledge also our Mayor and Councillors, ladies and gentlemen.

Kaye and I are delighted to join you for this occasion of immense historic and cultural importance to Beaudesert, to the Scenic Rim and to our State.

I understand the “War Stories and Our Town” program has united this community in reflection and remembrance, and I am proud that the anthology I am launching tonight forms part of its lasting legacy.

While this is our very first visit to Beaudesert since my being sworn in as your Governor in July 2014, as we drove down the Mount Lindesay Highway I was conscious of travelling in the footsteps of my vice-regal predecessors.

It seemed right as I prepared to launch this book of memories about the Scenic Rim at war that I should look back, some 95 years ago, to when our 13th Governor of Queensland, Sir Matthew Nathan, spoke at the unveiling of the Beaudesert War Memorial.

He must have wondered what words of comfort he could give to a community which had borne so much pain and loss.

The population of Beaudesert Shire was around 4200 people just three years before the start of the war.

Yet this region sent 524 young men – full of the vigour of life – and two courageous nurses to serve in the War – as much as one eighth of its population.

91 of them never came home.

Women lost husbands; parents lost sons.

Of those who returned, many were wounded in body and spirit.

With simple dignity, Sir Matthew said: “… their sacrifices have been great, and our memory of them should be long.”

As the 26th Governor of Queensland, I can truly say to the people of the Scenic Rim: you have honoured Sir Matthew’s pledge.

Through two world wars, through conflicts from Malaya to Vietnam to Afghanistan, your memory has been long and faithful.

It has been said that we cannot fully understand the battlefront without understanding the home front.

So I am glad the writers in this anthology have explored the experience of war in this region, from the story of the Volunteer Defence Corps, to migrants and prisoners of war, and the battles fought in peacetime by returned soldiers and their families.

I commend the Queensland Writers Centre and the Scenic Rim Regional Council for the tremendous effort involved in creating this important and valuable work, and I express sincere thanks for the governmental funding which has enabled it.

And I thank all the writers for devoting their time, their talent and their passion to this project.

It is now my great privilege to officially launch “War Stories and Our Town – An Anthology from the Scenic Rim”.