MontroseAccess - Official Opening of Montrose Brisbane South Service Centre
Distinguished guest, ladies and gentlemen. Good morning – and thank you for the warm welcome you have extended to Kaye and me on this special day at this marvellous new, state-of-the-art Montrose Brisbane South Service Centre.
Kaye and I are delighted to be here to share the excitement of what is, undeniably, one of the most significant events in the long history of this great Queensland organisation.
As many of you will know, there has been a long and proud connection between Montrose and the governors of our State since the Queensland Society for Crippled Children was first established more than eighty years ago.
The Right Honourable Sir Leslie Wilson – Queensland’s 15th governor – conducted the official opening of the original Montrose home in Corinda on the third of December, 1933.
Sir Leslie described the establishment of the facility as “an epoch-marking event in the history of Queensland.”
It certainly was. It gave Queensland’s physically disabled children and their families the support they needed to live fulfilled, satisfying lives.
The day after that official opening, The Courier-Mail carried a full report, referring to Mr George Marchant’s donation of the house and land at Chelmer as a “noble gift” and noting the exceptionally generous response of the community to the appeal for funds. In those days it must have been a substantial gift!
The extent of that generosity was demonstrated in the result of the fundraising fete hosted at Government House by Sir Leslie and Lady Wilson – it produced a total of four thousand three hundred pounds in donations, so I’m told. That’s the equivalent of more than four hundred thousand dollars today!
That this result followed very soon after the devastating impact of The Great Depression is a great tribute to the generous spirit of Queenslanders. It is also evidence of the widely-held respect for the organisation and its commitment to supporting children left with disability by polio and other diseases.
That respect, and the connection with Queensland’s governors, has continued through the tenure of Sir Leslie’s twelve successors. As The Queen’s twenty-sixth representative in our State, I am very pleased that the official opening of this new, purpose-built Centre – this milestone event – should be my very first engagement with MontroseAccess as vice-regal Patron.
This Centre puts MontroseAccess in the best possible position to respond nimbly and proactively to the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme in twenty-sixteen.
The Scheme will completely alter the way disability services are delivered in our country, but these new headquarters put Montrose firmly on the front foot, and thoroughly prepared to respond to that challenge.
I warmly congratulate the hard-working and committed Board and staff, and thank the generous donors who have helped to make this new Centre a reality. You embody the Montrose motto of “inspiring quality lives”. You make a real difference to the lives of almost six hundred Queensland children and young adults with physical disabilities. On behalf of all Queenslanders, I thank you all most sincerely for that.
It is now my great pleasure to declare the Montrose Brisbane South Service Centre officially open.
I look forward to unveiling the commemorative plaque together with MontroseAccess President, Paul Bird, and CEO, Linda Apelt. Kaye and I are also very much looking forward to chatting with you all over morning tea and to touring the Centre later this morning. Thank you.