Australia Day Flag Raising Ceremony
Our Premier, Minister O’Rourke, Members of Parliament, our Mayor and Councillors, Service Chiefs, ladies and gentlemen, girls and boys, it is Kaye’s and my great pleasure to be with you all today.
We join in acknowledging the Wulgurukaba and Bindal people who have tended these lands for thousands of years; we meaningfully turn our minds to their rich contributions, and to those of our Torres Strait Island community – they are enduringly relevant to contemporary Townsville and Queensland life.
Kaye and I are very pleased that, for the second year in a row, we are able to be here in Townsville, for this important State ceremony.
Australia Day is, above all else, a day for reflection, and for celebration: reflection and celebration about what it means to be a Queenslander, what it means to be an Australian.
In thinking today about the national psyche, we reflect also upon the many dedicated contributions which have shaped our national and Queensland character, beginning, as it did, tens of thousands of years ago.
We acknowledge, too, frontier settlers like Robert Towns. His pioneering vision for a port city to unlock the potential of our vast north set in motion the 150 years of proud Townsville municipality we celebrate this year. What a privilege it is, today, for us all to anticipate the 150th anniversary of this grand Queensland City.
This proud garrison city, with these historically significant Barracks: and as we continue in twenty-sixteen the Anzac Centenary commemorations, we respectfully acknowledge the service men and women who have sought, and continue to seek, to protect and advance our wellbeing here and on foreign shores.
I invite us all now to pause quietly, if for an inadequately brief moment, to remember, with gratitude, our service men and women under deployment, and their families at home…
In this increasingly discordant world, there remains a supervening need for us all to rededicate ourselves to the core citizenship values of mutual support and decency. Having travelled now extensively throughout the State, Kaye and I continue to be reassured by the way our fellow Queenslanders so readily seek to support one another. Queenslanders are good people, and proud custodians of a rich State and national heritage.
I thank everybody involved in organising today’s significant celebrations. As to participants, the day is madeof course by your being here, north Queensland families, and there is, then, the exhilaration of the military – the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force.
I congratulate the members of the Australian Defence Forces for their impeccable ceremonial presentation, important ceremonially as a reminder of discipline, and also as a real signal of military capacity immediately deployable.
And finally, I thank the wonderful people of Townsville. The continuing opportunity to interact with you all is, for Kaye and me, simply uplifting.
We wish you all a most invigorating twenty-sixteen.
This is the first of what I hope will be many visits here this year for Kaye and me, as we seek, in Townsville’s 150th year, to provide vice-regal acknowledgement for the many wonderful and vital contributions of North Queenslanders to our State.