Reception for Patronage Organisations
Kaye and I are delighted to welcome you to Fernberg for this evening’s reception at which we are privileged to acknowledge just some of the many organisations of which we are the Patrons. It gives both of us an opportunity to meet you, to listen to you, and to thank you personally for the splendid work you do for our community and our State, through the institutions and associations you represent.
In a way this evening resembles the wonderful Victorian social custom of the ‘at home’ — Fernberg is our home for the time being but it really remains ‘the people’s house’.
And in this year, one hundred and fifty years after it was first built, it is fitting for us to remember that providing hospitality in recognition of worthy Queenslanders has been integral to the life of this grand heritage building, and especially so since it became Queensland’s Government House fifteen governors ago.
Ceremony and public recognition have also been an important part of its history since the first vice-regal residents, Sir William and Lady MacGregor, took up residence in nineteen-ten.
That has been another tradition which Kaye and I have been very pleased to continue since I was sworn in as Queensland’s twenty-sixth governor last July.
At that time, I promised to be a Governor for all of Queensland. In the past fifteen months, we have had the enormous pleasure and privilege of meeting many – countless men, women and young people all over this wonderful State, a State which I assert is geographically and sociologically unique in every best sense of that epithet. I am so proud, with Kaye’s support, to be Governor of the wonderful people of Queensland.
I have been – and continue to be – enormously impressed by the outstanding contribution made by our charitable and volunteer associations, by organisations committed to health and welfare and to our young people, and by the results being produced through our educational and medical research institutions. Part of my role, as I see it, is to remind our people of the extent to which the government depends on – and is enriched by – the work of volunteers. You, ladies and gentlemen, epitomise that contribution.
On behalf of all Queenslanders, I congratulate and thank you for all that you do, and these are conspicuously beneficial contributions.
Pardon my being selective, and it is based in recency, but Kaye and I were recently indelibly impressed by the work being done by our wonderful Royal Flying Doctors Service Queensland Division in the Aurukun community, which needs so much support. Congratulations to Brigadier Mellor, Nino di Marco and his team; and I thank them most sincerely for organising the visit.
And there is the risk of course in being selective – why didn’t I mention the Cancer Council with its skin cancer conference only last week, and our wonderful St John’s people and the Salvos who seem to be everywhere, all the time, doing good? You all discharge a wonderfully altruistic commitment, so willingly undertaken.
While many of you will already have met, I hope you may take the opportunity tonight to get to know each other better, to learn what other organisations are doing, to consider how you might collaborate and cooperate to continue to build our great State.
I will leave you now to do just that, at this latter-day ‘at home’, with encouragement from a short story by the celebrated British suffragist, Evelyn Sharp. The heroine in her story decides she will eschew her usual ‘at home’ day having concluded that her circle of friends was a very dull one and that the only interesting people were those whom one met without any formal introduction.
Enjoy your evening and our Government House hospitality!