Installation of Mr John Abbott as Chancellor of CQUniversity Australia
I thank CQ University Australia most sincerely for inviting me to participate in this very important day in the life of the University.
I acknowledge Justice McMeekin; Senator MacDonald; Member for Capricornia, Ms Landry; Mayor Strelow; Bishop McCarthy; our former and current Chancellor, and Chancellor-elect; ladies and gentlemen.
I also acknowledge the Traditional Darrumbal (Dur-um-b’l) people and thank Mr Mann and dancers for their warm welcome.
After all, Dr William Kidston represented Rockhampton in the Queensland Parliament from 1896 and 1911, and was twice Premier of Queensland during that time.
He was a passionate believer in the power of education to transform communities.
He was one of the major driving forces behind the establishment in 1910 of our State’s first university, the University of Queensland.
Records suggest that, when that same university awarded him an Honorary Doctorate of Laws in 1911, Dr Kidston became the first person ever to be awarded a degree by a Queensland university.
I propose, Chancellor-designate, that we adopt Dr Kidston’s achievements in this sphere as a talisman for your instalment today, and your tenure, as Chancellor of CQUniversity.
I know – we know – that you share with Dr Kidston that passion for the transformative power of higher education.
We know that you bring a strong belief in the critical role that tertiary education institutions play in the progress of regional and rural areas of our State and country. We know that you are committed to the need for such institutions to engage deeply with the communities they serve.
You also bring to the role of Chancellor great experience in successfully managing the activities of large and diverse organisations with an international reach.
You have long demonstrated a commitment to this institution, beginning decades ago when it was an Institute of Technology, and culminating, in 2014, in your membership of the University Council.
These are experiences and attributes that will serve the University well.
The whole of the university community will look to you, as Chancellor, for the breadth of vision and strategic insight that will carry the University’s success into the future.
The University community, the University’s many partners and allies in government, education, business, and the wider community, will look to you as the University’s chief champion and advocate.
All will look to you as the steward of the highest standards of education, of governance, and of the reputation of this institution.
The position of Chancellor of CQ University is one of great privilege and great responsibility, as the oath I will shortly administer makes clear. But it will also be a source of great personal and professional satisfaction.
That solemn oath is part of the considerable ceremony – including the distinctive robes and presentation of the ceremonial mace – with which a Chancellor is installed. That is only right and proper, because ceremony evokes the past, embraces the present, and looks to the future.
In that spirit, and on behalf of the people of Queensland, with whose voice, as Governor, I am privileged to speak, I first turn to the past in wholeheartedly thanking the outgoing Chancellor for his many years of outstanding commitment to CQ University, and the many notable achievements of the University under his stewardship (and may I publicly congratulate Mr Fritschy on his Member of the Order of Australia honour announced on Australia Day this year).
I invoke the present in warmly congratulating the incoming Chancellor, and congratulating the University community, with equal warmth, on its choice.
And I look with great confidence to the future in offering my best wishes to the new Chancellor and, through him, to CQ University, as it forges deeper into the 21st century, energised by its transformative vision of “Strong to Great”.