Reception for Delegates to the Biennial Conference (2014) of the National Federation of Australia-Japan Societies
It is Kaye’s and my pleasure to welcome you to Government House, to Brisbane and to Queensland. I acknowledge Madam Consul-General, distinguished delegates from government, the private sector, non-government organisations and academia attending the 2014 Conference of the National Federation of Australia-Japan Societies.
I first take this opportunity to thank the Australia-Japan Society- Queensland and the Federation for their roles in organising the conference, and to thank all State and Territory Societies for their long-standing commitment to the Australia-Japan relationship.
As Governor of this exciting State, together with Kaye, we are delighted that you are meeting here in Brisbane to consider ways of giving further strength and substance to a bilateral relationship that has brought great benefits to Australia and Japan for well over half a century. It is a relationship in which Queensland has played, and will continue to play, an important role.
The busy conference program reflects the breadth and depth of the Australia-Japan relationship, from community connections to careers, from culture to commerce. So does the choice of conference venues – culture represented by the Gallery of Modern Art, and science and research by the Museum and Science Centre.
I am pleased to contribute to that theme this evening by hosting a reception in this beautiful heritage-listed building and estate. Like the Australia-Japan relationship, this house owes a great deal to commerce, having been built in 1865 by a successful businessman.
It has also been the home of Queensland’s governors for over a century, which reflects the shared commitment of Australia and Japan to stable and robust democratic systems of government. And I hope our hospitality tonight reflects the friendship and goodwill that remain fundamental to the Australia-Japan relationship.
Your conference comes at a propitious time, just two months after the signing of Australia-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement by Prime Ministers Abbott and Abe.
That development reminds us that even a healthy, long-standing bilateral relationship is anything but static. In that respect, the Federation’s two-day biennial gathering of informed individuals committed to the future of Australia-Japan ties is a timely means of enriching the relationship with new connections, energy and ideas.
On that positive and forward-looking note, I wish you all a busy, enjoyable and productive conference. Thank you.