Community Morning Tea in Honour of the Governor of Queensland and Mrs de Jersey
It is an absolute pleasure that you have taken your time to join Kaye and me here this morning.
I at once pay my respects to the Gimuy Waluburra Yidinji and Yirrganydji peoples, whose traditional connection to the area around Cairns goes back thousands of years.
Kaye and I are extremely fond of Cairns – as Chief Justice I undertook a week-long sitting here very year – and we always look forward to the warm hospitality its residents afford us, and to, well, just being warm! Indeed, I always tried to time my sittings here for the latter months of the year.
Before the days of the resident Far Northern Judge, Cairns was a most prized circuit destination for the Brisbane Supreme Court Judges. I was fortunate to be given a stint by the then Chief Justice from year to year. When I myself became Chief Justice, I was determined to keep the visit going. And I now query why, but I felt it necessary to roster myself to come here in the hotter months. You see, as I then rather timidly perceived things, I could not be seen to be enjoying too much the magic of the place. But I did enjoy it, and how wonderful Cairns remains.
Cairns, as a city, the Far North, all of you, are very special to us. We have greatly enjoyed our time here once again, including at the marvellous Cairns Amateurs – what an outstanding success and credit to the region.
This is our first visit since my being sworn in as your Governor just over one month ago. On that occasion I made a very public, and right, commitment that Kaye and I will do all we can to promote the advancement of our great State, and this plainly includes visiting all communities in the State, especially, I suggest, in the regions.
Cairns is, culturally and economically, a highly significant part of our great State. Indeed, the city’s significance will be thrust into the global spotlight when the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meet here next week. And how wonderful that is for North Queensland.
From what I have heard, including directly from Mayor Bob Manning and Councillors, who provided great insight when they briefed me on Friday, Cairns is certainly ready. I am confident that, with the support of those here today, our international visitors will be just as enamoured of your vibrant city as Kaye and I have been over so many years.
Kaye and I very fondly recall a week here in the late 1980s, joined by our then very young children for a couple of days, staying at the Pacific Hotel. I was siting, of course, but Kaye and the children took the iconic rail trip to Kuranda, and the catamaran to Green Island – they were transfixed – we still are! This is such a vibrant, enlivening part of the State.
We are all privileged to live in a State powered by remarkable communities, brilliant minds and opportunities for all people. Kaye and I wholeheartedly congratulate each and every one of you, who, in your own area of endeavour, strive to make this city such a great place to live for your fellow Queenslanders. Thank you.