Reception to Celebrate the New Year
Ladies and gentlemen. Kaye and I are delighted you have joined us this evening. We hope you will all have had a very happy, and fulfilling, Christmas and New Year break, spent with significant people in your lives.
We are always told that the New Year presents a great opportunity to recalibrate priorities in our personal and professional lives, so we may at this time make the most of opportunities as we move into 2015.
That may sound a little sanctimonious, and I confess, having survived 66 New Year transitions in my life-time, my own performance has been but patchy. But I am sure that we will all continue to do our best.
Highly significantly, this year we commemorate, as a Nation, 100 years since the Gallipoli campaign. I consider it an enormous privilege to be your Governor in this particular year, for that reason.
As I suggested in Townsville last Monday, we often, and rightly, say “Lest We Forget”; but we must always have in mind what it is we must remember. And the education of our children is pivotal to that end.
How indebted we are, as citizens, to all service personnel, past, present and enduring, and I include our police and emergency services people of such dedication.
As a State, we hope 2015 brings some much needed sustained relief in the form of rain, easing the burden of this prolonged drought, particularly on our farmers and rural Queenslanders. Many parts of the State received really decent falls in December and January; we hope there is much more to come in the tail end of this wet. The drought, sadly, continues. In mid February, we will host a reception here in support of our drought afflicted fellow citizens, and I was very pleased to learn the other day that some families will stay with us here then in the guest accommodation.
Now I must acknowledge without further ado that we are particularly grateful for your presence this Thursday, ahead of next Saturday, when Queenslanders will determine the composition of Queensland’s next parliament. You are very good to give us your time!
This will be my first election as Governor, and I will of course be greatly honoured to discharge my fundamental constitutional duty, which is to ensure stable government. I very much look forward to overseeing this process and to opening our State’s new parliament in a few weeks’ time.
The Governor may sit at the apex of our political system, but the system works best when the people have confidence in all our major public institutions. As you know, that confidence is inherently fragile, and relies on the faithful discharge of all our duties. I applaud all of you present tonight, representing those institutions, who rise to fulfil that crucial stipulation.
And to the many others present, your contributions to one another, and to our State, in your respective fields of endeavour, rightly deserve our acknowledgement and commendation.
Kaye and I began our vice-regal contribution this year in Townsville. We were greatly moved by the spirit of our fellow Queenslanders of that region, and their warm support for this office. It was, if I may say, wonderful that the Australia Day Flag-Raising for the first time took place outside the metropolis.
The two of us are profoundly optimistic and confident about our State’s future. Our observations and interactions with many people across the State during these first six months in the office have confirmed, abundantly clearly, to us, that Queensland displays enormous potential for prosperity and growth. As we begin 2015, the avenues down which we may exploit those prospects, and continue to grow and prosper, are not only open, but beckoning.
Ladies and gentlemen, we warmly wish you all a successful and productive 2015. It will come, I hope, as no surprise to you, to hear that we look forward with great enthusiasm to continuing to do our utmost to discharge the very significant vice-regal responsibility we have been most privileged to assume.