Chinese Club of Queensland Chinese New Year Function: Year of the Goat/Sheep
President Michael Chan, Minister Fentiman representing the Premier, Mrs Prentice representing the Prime Minister, ladies and gentlemen. Kaye and I are delighted to join you for this Chinese New Year celebration, the first since my swearing-in as Governor last July.
I should begin by acknowledging how closely we all empathize with our fellow Queenslanders presently in distress consequent of Cyclone Marcia. We are fortunate the machinery of State, supported amply by a magnificent volunteer effort, has come so rapidly and effectively to their aid. Our thoughts are with them all.
As Governor, born in a Year of the Rat, albeit not a very recent Year of the Rat, I offer special congratulations to all the Sheep and Goats in the room and best wishes for the coming year.
The Chinese calendar to which I so casually refer has existed for well over three thousand years - a timely reminder to us of the ancient roots and longevity of Chinese culture.
And of the spread of Chinese culture to all corners of the world by bold and adventurous emigrants seeking success and prosperity for their families in distant lands.
Frank, Peter and the extended Liu family are living proof of this, and I acknowledge with gratitude the memory of Eddie Liu, who is always with us in spirit.
Chinese Australians have made enormous contributions to this State and country in every conceivable field. We need only look around this room to attest to that. Tonight is also a celebration of those achievements.
It is a celebration, too, of Australia’s relationship with China in many fields – trade and investment, education, tourism, sport and culture among them. The relationship can only grow and prosper in a spirit of mutual respect.
We were reminded recently of the importance of good relationships during the Asian Cup, which Australia hosted with great success.
I cannot regret that the Socceroos won their game against China and eventually won the Cup.
But I can ask: was there ever a more heart-warming talisman of Australia-China relations than the Brisbane ball-boy – our own Stephen White – who gave the right advice – or rather the “go left” advice – to the goalkeeper of the Chinese team Wung Daarlee in the match against Saudi Arabia?
With that charming and uplifting example of Queensland-China relations firmly in mind, Kaye and I thank the Chinese Club of Queensland for the warm and generous hospitality shown us tonight, and wish you all an enjoyable evening and a happy and prosperous Chinese New Year!