Afternoon Tea in Recognition of the 80th Anniversary of BUSHkids
Our Chairman, Dr Bartels, and CEO, Mr Meyn; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen. It is a great pleasure for Kaye and me to follow up last year’s celebration of BUSHkids’ 80th anniversary with today’s afternoon tea in support of your book launch.
We extend a warm welcome to you all. We are especially delighted to have among our guests today descendants of the 15th and longest-serving Governor of Queensland, Sir Leslie Orme Wilson. I recall from my childhood the adulation rightly accorded Sir Leslie, and Lady Wilson, for the effectiveness of their initiatives.
Sir Leslie’s distress at the plight of drought-stricken families in regional Queensland in the 1930s led him to play a vital role in the establishment of BUSHkids.
Having Sir Leslie’s descendants here today brings distinction and continuity to this celebration.
I can claim to add another layer of continuity as the most recent in a long line of Governors who have been patrons of BUSHkids.
And I would like to express publicly my gratitude to BUSHKids who kindly granted permission for the full-sized portrait of Sir Leslie, which hangs in their Toowong headquarters, to feature in Government House’s ‘A Portrait of a Governor’ publication, launched in August.
The publication being launched today is yet another kind of continuity, a record for posterity of the story of BUSKHkids across eight decades.
The book contains a marvellous tribute to Sir Leslie.
It provides a fascinating timeline of BUSHkids’ growth and development.
The publication records the personal stories of the many wonderful individuals who have served BUSHkids over the decades. It features stories, shining with gratitude, of children, now adults, who benefitted from BUSHkids’ programs over the decades.
I thank the many individuals and organisations who have played a role in BUSHkids’ on-going story.
They include, from the beginning, Toc H, the CWA, the Royal Flying Doctor Service and the Red Cross.
They encompass the many dedicated executive office holders and staff who have served BUSHkids since 1935.
They include hundreds of communities and a small army of volunteers all over our State. And the many friends, supporters and sponsors who have given of their time and resources.
Together, this honour roll of notable Queenslanders has now touched the lives of over 42,000 children and their families.
To borrow your Chairman’s words, they have done this in the spirit of vision, energy, compassion and commitment that has always characterised BUSHkids.
This is a tremendous record of which all Queenslanders should be immensely proud.
On that inspirational note, it gives me great pleasure, as Governor and Patron, to congratulate all those involved in the book, and to host you all here this afternoon in support of the official launch of BUSHIES – stories from the first 80 years of BUSHkids.