Young Professionals Fraser Coast Breakfast Function
Thank you, Councillor Sanderson, for your kind introduction. I acknowledge our Deputy Prime Minister, the Member for Maryborough, our Mayor; I thank Young Professionals Fraser Coast for inviting me to this bright and early start to the day.
I am delighted that this opportunity arose as part of my current official visit to the Fraser Coast, though also conscious of the roll-call of inspiring people who have preceded me in addressing this group.
It is always a privilege and inspiration for me, as Governor, to meet our wonderful State’s young people as they go about the business of creating and constructing their own futures – and our State’s future.
And I am particularly pleased to be speaking today to young people from a region in Queensland in which I spent a number of my formative years as a primary school student.
I have been invited to include in my address some reflections on my own career.
In doing so, I am conscious that, for young people, “career” may not mean exactly the same as it did for my generation, because experts contend that young people working today will change jobs, even professions, more often than their parents and grandparents ever did.
Nevertheless, I believe there are principles and strategies that, at their core, are relevant and valid in any time and circumstance.
The very best advice I can give is simple: in all that you do, give of your very best. That, for me, has been the key to whatever success I have achieved, and to the attainment of great professional and personal satisfaction.
I was fortunate in having decided early, as a teenager in fact, that I wanted to serve the community by becoming a barrister. But, however and whenever you acquire a passion for a career, you can be confident that it will sustain you though good times and challenging times.
I was also fortunate to have several excellent mentors during my career in the law. The characteristic they all shared was a preparedness both to be supportive and to be forthright about areas in which I needed to improve. Mentors like that are worth their weight in gold. Seek them out.
Having read about the aims and achievements of this group, I suspect I am preaching to the converted in encouraging you, as professionals, to serve your community in whatever way you can. I pursued this goal in a number of ways, the earliest of which was to join the University Regiment when I was at the University of Queensland.
That experience taught me about self-discipline and the benefits of acquiring good organisational skills. And it instilled a habit of service, which I have carried on through my professional life via involvement in community organisations and now as Vice-Regal patron of many such organisations.
In other words, service to the community has a two-fold benefit. It allows the individual to give back to their local area, and at the same time it enhances the individual’s personal and professional skills and experience.
I hope all that is not too much advice to digest along with your breakfast.
In closing, I note that the area you work in is called the “services” sector for good reason. You are serving our communities. Do not underestimate the importance of what you do in empowering others – individuals, families, organisations, companies – to navigate, with more confidence, the inevitable highs and lows of life and work in the 21st century.
Doing this to the best of your abilities makes for a better, fairer, Queensland, and I thank you for the contributions you have already made to that admirable goal.
In that same spirit, I thank you for your hospitality today, and wish you all every success in your chosen careers.