100th Mitchell Agricultural Show

A speech delivered by His Excellency the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC, Governor of Queensland, at the 100th Mitchell Agricultural Show on 9 May 2016:

I too acknowledge our Mayor, Councillor Golder, and Councillors; Mitchell Show Society President Mr Steve Hancock and members; and all of you, the wonderful people of Mitchell and the Maranoa.

I now acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of these lands, the Gunggari people, and express my respect for their Elders past and present. I also thank Ms Nixon for her Welcome to Country.

I should tell you now that I spoke this morning with our Premier, who particularly asked me to convey to you all her warm greetings, and best wishes, on this important occasion. The Premier is a great supporter of regional Queensland.

It is a great pleasure for Kaye and me to be with you here today in Mitchell, on what is our first official visit to this important historic town, on what is an important historic day.

Not every community initiative, even those which set out to achieve really worthy goals, survives a decade. Fewer still prosper to mark their centenary. 

Those initiatives which do so endure, speak to long-lasting, abiding values which unite and uplift us all.

The community shows to which Kaye and I have been so wonderfully and warmly welcomed since my being sworn in as your Governor in July 2014 certainly fit this bill.

And we’ve been to many, all over Queensland, including Alpha, Springsure, Laidley, Maleny, Ipswich, Toowoomba… uplifting experiences all of them.

That this Mitchell Agricultural Show has been a fixture now for over 100 years, bears wonderful testimony to the continuing high achievement of the people of Mitchell and the Maranoa, and their commitment to community values.

And while the patrons at that first show 107 years ago would be thrilled to know the show, on its 100thiteration, continues to reflect this dynamic region, particularly its rich primary producing heritage, they may be somewhat nonplussed to see horses and cattle atop a 40-foot gooseneck trailer attached to a semi-trailer – as happens as part of the Rooftop Express entertainment this year!

I thank and congratulate particularly the members of the Mitchell Show Society, whose efforts to stage a memorable Show will have been tireless. I am delighted I will shortly be presenting new Honorary Life Memberships.

I thank all the businesses and supporters – these shows, our rural communities, reliably depend on your generosity.

And, of course, Kaye and I thank the wonderful people of Mitchell, of all ages, for so enthusiastically welcoming us here today.

We bring with us best wishes and support on behalf of all Queenslanders, especially as this prolonged drought persists. I know over the past few days there have been some good falls, achingly for this region, further inland.

We continue to be deeply moved by the plight of the people of our vast West we have met – your resilience is, frankly, compelling.

Regional Queensland means an enormous amount to our State, to all Queenslanders. It is an honour to be here – to support you all, and your way of life which wonderfully imbues both contemporary, and historical, Queensland.

And it is particularly fitting that your Governor’s Standard – signaling that the Governor is proudly in town – should be flying today over this 100th Mitchell Agricultural Show, which I am delighted now to declare “officially open”.