Reception to Celebrate World MS Day and Present World MS Day Awards
Senator Moore; distinguished guests; members of the broad MS Queensland family. Kaye and I extend a very warm welcome to you all on this most important day in the calendar for everyone in the MS community – World MS Day.
The theme for World MS Day this year is ‘independence’ and, as Patron of MS Queensland, I am very pleased to see that theme so directly expressed in the new name of the annual awards: MS doesn’t stop me sends a powerful and important message to the whole community.
This is the sixth occasion on which MS Queensland awards have been presented on World MS Day.
For the first five years, nominations were invited from those living with MS, that they nominate their heroes – the carers, researchers, advocates, employers, family members, or volunteers who had helped them to pursue their dreams and lead a fulfilled life.
The MS doesn’t stop me awards build on that proud history, but there is a move to focus on the individuals and their inspirational stories. These are wonderful stories and they need to be told – and heard, in the broader community so that MS may be better understood as a manageable disorder, not as a disability.
Four new names will be added to the honour roll of award recipients tonight, and I very much look forward to presenting their trophies.
The inaugural MS doesn’t stop me awardees are outstanding Queenslanders providing superb role models as well as encouragement for all those living with MS.
Each is living proof that MS is not a barrier to achievement or success.
As Governor, I have the privilege of speaking for all Queenslanders, and on their behalf I warmly congratulate the awardees, and thank the Board, staff and volunteers of MS Queensland and the many advocates, carers and family members who, together, are helping to build a future of hope for the 23,000 Australians whose lives are affected by MS.
We are very glad you also got to meet Gavel tonight! He is with us at Government House for 12 months, and will make another appearance at our Open Day on Saturday week, to which you are all enthusiastically welcomed back! Thank you all once again, it is truly a pleasure to have you here.
… And an addendum: today marks the 70th birthday of the much admired, one time Chief Executive Officer of MS Queensland, Mr Trevor Farrell, who is with us this evening. Happy birthday Trevor, and please forgive my mentioning that without having secured your permission! I know that everyone tonight would wish to extend to you their warmest good wishes.