Consular Corps of Queensland 2015 Christmas Dinner
I too acknowledge Minister Fentiman representing our Premier, the Chief Justice, the Leader of the Opposition, the Lord Mayor, distinguished guests. Kaye and I thank the Consular Corps most sincerely for another welcome opportunity to enjoy your splendid company and hospitality as we celebrate the approach of Christmas.
Consular Corps members will be particularly aware that events of the past few weeks have underlined the world-wide challenges to the safety and security of the citizens of many countries.
These events underline the importance of having consular representatives, whether career or honorary, to look after the interests of nationals visiting other countries. Many Australians who were anxious about family and friends in Paris last month will be particularly aware of this.
While solemnly acknowledging the aftermath of these events, I will not, this evening, dwell on the negative.
The festive season is a time to emphasise the positive. It is our opportunity to look forward to the company of family and friends, to put aside the stresses and strains of busy lives, and to heed the message of hope and optimism that Christmas and New Year bring.
Since we last gathered here, Kaye and I have had first-hand experience of the spirit of generosity and goodwill that we associate so closely with Christmas.
Much of that experience has been on our wonderful State, where we have met many big-hearted Queenslanders who devote their time and energy to admirable causes in our communities.
And we have been warmly welcomed on official visits to countries in Europe and Asia, some of them represented by consuls here this evening.
So let us look to these marvellous experiences, and the optimism and generosity that accompany them, to set the tone for Christmas 2015 and the New Year of 2016.
In that respect, as Governor, I thank all members of the Consular Corps of Queensland for your professionalism and care, over the past year, for the citizens of the countries you represent. Your efforts have brought substantial benefits to Queensland.
Kaye and I wish you all a thoroughly enjoyable evening, a relaxing and happy Christmas and New Year break, and a very positive and successful 2016.