Townsville Community Reception
It is an absolute pleasure you have taken your time to join Kaye and me here tonight.
I at once acknowledge the Wulgurukaba and Bindal people, whose traditional connection to the area around The Strand goes back thousands of years.
We are delighted to be here again in Townsville, as we have been so many times over the years. In hosting tonight’s reception, you are indeed very special to us; this, our very first regional visit since my being sworn in as Governor of Queensland earlier this week. We are so delighted to share this occasion with you all. I love Townsville. Kaye spent years here as a teenager. My brother has lived here for forty years. My first circuit as a judge was for five weeks here in 1985 actually in the criminal court of all things! I have come here annually since. Our first regional visit in the Governor role is tremendously important - and poignant for us both. But enough of this acknowledgement of partiality.
One thing I know my predecessors as Governor were very attuned to – and one I will maintain - is that the Governor seek to support, encourage and inspire all Queenslanders, especially I suggest in the regions; “especially” in the sense there may be some lack of opportunity available for one reason or another in the metropolis.
And so it is fitting that my very first country Queensland visit is occurring outside the south east corner.
Yesterday afternoon I met with Mayor Jenny Hill and Councillors. I very much appreciated the insight they provided me through their in-depth briefing.
I thank the Mayor and Councillors for their generous welcome, and indeed the warm hospitality Townsville has again extended to us.
Townsville really is a jewel in tropical Queensland’s crown. I suppose you locals don’t need to be reminded of that; but those of us coming north are enlivened by it.
As last night’s opening night concert of the AFCM confirmed, the quality and depth of artistic endeavour on display in Townsville is equal to, and indeed arguably in many cases surpasses, that of metropolitan Australia.
And we are all aware it is the hard work and effort of everyone here tonight – whether it’s in sport, community work, defence, in business or the arts – which make this region such an integral and contributing part of Queensland.
We live in a State powered by remarkable communities, brilliant minds and opportunities for all people.
And as the twenty-sixth Governor, I have made a very public, and right, commitment that Kaye and I will do all we can to uphold and promote the advancement of our great State, and this plainly includes visiting all communities in the State.
And so, within a week of the swearing-in, we start that journey here in Townsville. It is so nostalgically important for both of us that we start here, and perhaps we may end here in five years’ time. The hope is we will in the meantime have done our very best for all of you, our wonderful fellow Queenslanders.