2015 Brisbane Open House Official Launch
Minister Enoch, and indeed all our elected representatives, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. I am delighted to join you all here today on Platform Three, a place which has witnessed so much of Queensland’s history since this station first opened, a hundred and forty years ago.
My only regret is that, unlike my early predecessors as Governor, we did not have the added pleasure of arriving by steam train – in the Governor’s Carriage, no less – as they might have done.
Later this year I very much look forward to hosting students from the Murri School on board a steam train for QR’s 150th anniversary. I too at once express great respect to the Turrbal and Jagera peoples, as we gather today on lands they traditionally tended.
Our early Governors and their spouses were certainly great proponents of the railway. Indeed, this station today, as well as the street on which it stands, bears the name of Lady Diamantina Roma Bowen, wife of Queensland’s first governor. It was also Lady Bowen who turned the first sod to mark the beginning of construction of Queensland’s first railway in Ipswich in 1864.
I am delighted that Open House Brisbane has chosen to recognise its importance by launching the twenty-fifteen event in this station building. It is not only Brisbane’s oldest, but the earliest surviving major station in any capital city in Australia.
(And Kaye and I were very pleased to attend the Heritage Awards last week at which project restoring this very building was appropriately recognised.)
In 2015, when this station is enjoying its one hundred and fortieth anniversary, Fernberg — Queensland’s Government House, is celebrating its one hundred and fiftieth anniversary.
To mark that anniversary, Fernberg has been included in this sixth Open House Brisbane. Kaye and I are thrilled and the staff and Volunteer Guides at Government House are already preparing to welcome visitors on Saturday, the tenth of October.
Like everyone associated with the event, we are hoping for a fine weekend, but, fair weather or foul, what has become very clear over the six years since the first Open House Brisbane, is that the people of this city have wholeheartedly and proudly embraced the Open House weekend as a way to discover more about their city and to become engaged with its past and present.
As Patron, I congratulate the Queensland branch of the National Trust of Australia, the office of the Queensland Government Architect, and the Brisbane Development Association on the continued success of this collaboration, and thank the sponsors, the Brisbane Open House team of staff and volunteers, and the many, many organisations and companies, government departments, churches, schools, museums, and owners of private homes who will so generously open their doors – and reveal their secrets – during Open House Brisbane this year.
It now gives me great pleasure to officially launch Open House Brisbane twenty-fifteen.