RACQ Honourary Life Member Dinner 2014
Thank you, Geoff, for your kind introduction, and to the RACQ for inviting Kaye and me to be with you tonight. This is indeed our first engagement with this fine institution since my being sworn-in as Governor last month.
On that occasion, I made a commitment that Kaye and I would do all we could to support, encourage and inspire all Queenslanders.
And we are privileged, in many ways, as we travel the length and breadth of this great State, to see service and dedication extraordinaire.
This is why we are truly honoured to join you tonight.
For the men and women who guide and work for this Queensland institution, including the Honourary Life Members we acknowledge particularly tonight, are custodians of a truly remarkable organisation, one that is emblematic of our State’s generosity, sense of service, and genuine country charm.
Earlier tonight Geoff remarked that, over his 17 years on the RACQ board, he has witnessed the organisation adapt particularly to the way members like to communicate.
This is something we all grapple with, whether it’s the courts, in politics or business. Even the Governor must move with the times, and, as some of you would be aware, like the RACQ, I too am now on facebook and Twitter.
Ahead of tonight’s event, I even perused the RACQ facebook page, and I came across a post from earlier in the year where it was suggested Brisbane’s future underground bus and rail tunnel should be called the ‘Wally Lewis Way’.
I do not indulge in many sporting analogies, but, this post struck a chord with me: the RACQ really is the ultimate Queenslander, a bit like Wally Lewis himself.
They are both instantly recognisable as, and synonymous with, Queensland.
You can rely on both to get you through tough times.
And, of course, both have a ‘Royal’ title – Wally being ‘the King’, after all.
As a matter of practicality, if we ever needed to jump start the old vice regal car – a bulky but comfortable 1972 Rolls Royce Phantom – both Wally and the RACQ would be well-placed to assist.
It is rather comforting to know that, as Governor, and Patron of the RACQ, I am reportedly afforded roadside assistance in any car in which I am travelling.
So Geoff, in the spirit of moving with the times, perhaps I can tweet the RACQ if I need assistance, and let Wally enjoy his retirement…
As Patron of the RACQ, and on behalf of all Queenslanders, I would like to acknowledge some of the vital community work the organisation undertakes.
As someone who grew up in remote parts of this State, including in Longreach which is serviced by the North Queensland Rescue helicopter – one of four helicopter rescue services the RACQ sponsors – I am acutely aware that these ‘flying hospitals’ literally save lives.
I would also like to acknowledge the significant contribution the RACQ Foundation has made, helping community and sporting groups recover from Queensland’s successive summers of natural disasters.
The RACQ Foundation’s assistance – helping community and sporting groups to return to the same position they were before the natural disasters – gave communities an immediate boost following the 2011 floods, Cyclone Yasi and subsequent weather events, and a long-term psychological lift that is still being felt today some three-and-a-half-years years later.
Finally, I wish your outgoing President and RACQ stalwart Mr Geoff Leddy the very best in his retirement. I presume you’ll be Tweeting and facebooking us from the exotic locations we see every two months in the Road Ahead magazines.
I applaud the RACQ’s commitment to good citizenship through its services, and applaud your commitment to making Queensland a better place to live for our wonderful, fellow Queenslanders.