100th Anniversary of Maleny Agricultural Show Society and 84th Maleny Show
Member for Fisher, the Honourable Andrew Wallace MP; Member for Glass House, the Honourable Andrew Powell MP; Maleny Show Society President, Councillor Winston Johnston, and Executive; Queensland Agricultural Shows President, Mrs Kerry Roberston; 2021 Queensland Country Life Showgirl Ms Brittany Kugel; distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.
I begin by acknowledging the original custodians of the lands on which we gather, and pay my respects to Elders, past, present and emerging.
I am delighted to be with you this afternoon to celebrate the one hundredth anniversary of the Maleny Show Society and to officially open the 2022 Show.
Agricultural shows have been part of Australian society since the very early days of European settlement and today, around our nation, there are no fewer than 580 shows each year.
With 128 of those shows in Queensland, it has not always been possible for Governors to include a visit in their schedule, but I was very pleased to discover that one of my predecessors, Sir John Goodwin, opened the Maleny Show 91 years ago.
The newspaper at the time reported that Sir John was particularly interested in the wonderful dairy stock, and that Lady Goodwin was presented with a magnificent bouquet of violets and maidenhair fern.
Bouquets and curtseys may no longer be part of a Vice-Regal visit, but the agricultural and pastoral industries of the district have remained the central focus of the Show, helping to create this resilient, connected and proud local community.
It is that sense of community involvement and pride that has ensured the longevity of the Maleny Show.
Despite multiple cancellations because of drought, wet weather, the Great Depression and World War Two, the Maleny Agricultural, Industrial, Pastoral and Recreation Society has endured.
Sideshow Alley may no longer feature Jimmy Sharman’s Boxing Tent, and I note that the horse and buggy competition is no longer, but I am delighted to see that woodchopping and whip-cracking are both on the program this year, just as they were a century ago.
It is that respect for history and tradition, combined with readiness to embrace new ideas, that has helped ensure the Show’s survival.
At the very outset, the Maleny Show Society had the vision to acquire 18 acres of uncleared scrub for a permanent showground, and it has been behind the continued expansion of the grounds and facilities ever since.
Today, the showground is two-and-a-half times its original size and some 16 community sport and recreation groups now enjoy the excellent facilities, as well as an increasing numbers of Grey Nomads and other campers.
In celebrating 100 years of the Maleny Show Society’s service to the community, we acknowledge the immense contribution of committed volunteers, donors, sponsors, and working partners, including the 40-year partnership with Queensland Country Life and Queensland Ag Shows in support of the Showgirl Awards.
Since 1922, Maleny’s residents, businesses and institutions have collectively rolled up their sleeves to keep the dream of the Maleny Show alive. I congratulate everyone concerned on reaching this significant milestone and now have great pleasure in declaring the 84th Maleny Show open.