Official Opening of Hear and Say Brisbane Centre and Head Office
Thank you, Chris. I too acknowledge the Premier, Minister Jones, Lady Mayoress, and the many distinguished guests and wonderful members of the Hear and Say family present here today.
Kaye and I are delighted to be here. I am equally delighted that my first official duty as Patron of Hear and Say is to join you in celebrating the opening of this impressive new centre in Ashgrove.
Along with many Queenslanders, Kaye and I have been aware of and followed this marvellous Hear and Say ‘phenomenon’ – if I may so describe it, since its inception in the ‘90s, when we were also privileged to meet the initial, inspirational driving-force, Dimity Dornan. We are most honoured to be here today, in this vice-regal capacity, and to be able now to acknowledge with gratitude such a beneficial initiative, and that it should have originated and developed here in Queensland.
Over a period of more than twenty years, Hear and Say has profoundly changed, for the better, the lives of thousands of children and young adults in Queensland.
It has achieved this by making it possible, through early intervention, therapy, and the best available technology, for deaf children to hear, listen and speak. This in turn has opened up many more options and opportunities for deaf children and young adults to participate fully in a hearing world.
That is a marvellous achievement.
Moreover, it has been achieved with Hear and Say’s characteristic focus on the invaluable role of families in supporting their children through the process.
As Governor of this vast State, I was also pleased to learn that Hear and Say’s reach has long extended deep into regional areas of Queensland, providing access to its services through its network of offices and on-line telepractice programs.
This new complex in Ashgrove represents another major stage in the growth and development of Hear and Say. It provides world standard, custom-designed and built facilities for Hear and Say’s current operations, organised around the six key themes which relate to the organisation’s work.
Importantly, the complex also provides room for growth, and Hear and Say’s effectiveness and success to date indicate that it will continue to develop and grow. That is indeed intrinsic to what I have termed the ‘phenomenon’ – it has always depended on creativity, and progressive technology; and as we have come to realize in this 21st century world, those things are, fortunately, unstoppable.
This is, quite literally, an investment in the future of many young Queenslanders, and it is their welfare we must be particularly astute to advance.
As Governor and Patron, I wish now to express gratitude and congratulations – first to Dr Dornan, her staff and the Hear and Say Board for their grand vision, for their enthusiastic drive, and for their utter dedication.
Then the donors – government, corporate and individual – whose great generosity has made the construction and fit-out possible. I earnestly encourage them to maintain that generosity, as Hear and Say seeks to reach out to even more young Queenslanders living with hearing loss.
I look forward to participating shortly in the unveiling of a plaque in a short while. But for now it gives me very great pleasure, with added significance on this International Day for Ear and Hearing Care, to declare the Hear and Say Brisbane Centre and Head Office officially open. Thank you.