Afternoon Reception in Support of the Australian Institute of International Affairs, Queensland
Elected representatives; Consul-General of Japan, Mr Hosaka; Honorary Consuls; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen. Kaye and I warmly welcome AIIA office-holders and members, and all our other guests, to Government House today.
I am unlikely to be accused of understatement when I say that ongoing international crises, and the recent Presidential election in the United States, have kept the public profile of foreign policy issues high.
Even so, there is always a risk of losing perspective amid the intense white noise of the twenty-four-seven news cycle.
This, of course, is the time at which we most need perspective to help gauge where Australia’s national interests lie, and to propose responses to developments that affect our interests.
Kaye and I have certainly been the beneficiaries of such excellent, thoughtful advice from the Queensland and Australian governments on our official visits to many of our State’s important international partners – most recently to Japan.
The AIIA’s membership, comprising individuals who are engaged in, knowledgeable about, and experienced in aspects of foreign policy, has played an important role in developing and giving profile to exactly that kind of informed view over many decades.
An excellent example is the Queensland Branch’s 2016 Annual Dinner tomorrow evening, when the Honourable Kim Beazley AC, the Institute’s National President and former Australian Ambassador to the United States, will give his views on the implications for Australia of the outcome of the US Presidential election.
That’s what I call excellent timing!
The two AIIA awards I have the pleasure of presenting today signal another important way in which the Institute encourages community engagement with international affairs.
The Queensland Award highlights the work of a significant contributor to the robustness of our international relations.
The Asia Pacific Scholarship encourages new generations of Queenslanders to become more deeply engaged with Queensland and Australia’s international partners.
Kaye and I congratulate Kathleen and Elizabeth, this year’s deserving award winners, and wish them every success in their endeavours. We will hear more about their achievements shortly.
And as Governor and Patron, I thank the AIIA executive and members for the Institute’s tireless efforts to inform and influence, for the good, Australia’s international relations dialogue and policies. Thank you.