Rockhampton Community Reception
I acknowledge representatives of the people of this wonderful part of Queensland in our Parliaments: Minister Byrne, Senator Canavan, Ms Lauga, Ms Landry; Rockhampton and Livingstone Mayors, Councillor Strelow and Councillor Ludwig; senior representatives of dynamic Rockhampton life; ladies and gentlemen. Kaye and I are delighted to welcome you all here today.
We begin by acknowledging the Traditional Darrumbal people; their contributions, over many thousands of years, continue to beneficially imbue contemporary Central Queensland life.
Whenever and wherever we travel around this wonderful State, our admiration for the resilience and resourcefulness of our fellow Queenslanders grows ever deeper – often bringing a smile to our faces in the process.
I offer as an example some of the invitees for tonight’s reception, who were meant to travel to Brisbane in April last year to attend a reception we hosted for those involved in disaster management at the time of Cyclone Marcia.
But they were prevented from travelling by, of all things, torrential rain.
Ordinary mortals might have been dismayed, but this hardy group stayed put, dressed up, and held their own celebration. We’re sorry we missed it, and we hope today’s celebration is at least half as good!
Cyclone Marcia was an exceptional challenge. It drew from the people of Central Queensland a magnificent response which I acknowledge, once more, with the greatest appreciation and admiration. I acknowledge that aspects of this effort are on-going.
But we also acknowledge today the everyday challenges that, successfully met, bring benefit to the day-to-day lives of the people of this region.
These include running businesses and creating employment in many industry sectors, responding to the many tasks expected of local, State and national government, managing the local defence force presence, honouring veterans, and maintaining the high quality of local education (and I very much look forward to installing Mr John Abbott, present tonight, as CQ University’s new Chancellor tomorrow).
They also include keeping the community safe, providing health care, and, through generous community organisations, giving practical and emotional support to those who need a helping hand.
I am delighted that there are representatives here today of just about every category in that long and distinguished list.
It is vitally important to remember that the strength and resilience of your communities, so evident when Cyclone Marcia struck, are in fact born out of your everyday professionalism, commitment, and compassion in serving those communities.
As Governor of Queensland, speaking for all Queenslanders, I thank you for the magnificent contribution you make – every day – to the prosperity, strength and well-being of this marvellous part of our marvellous State.
Our hospitality today is a sincere expression of that appreciation. Please enjoy it.