Afternoon Tea in Support of the Queensland Family History Society and the Presentation of Fellow Awards
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. It is Kaye’s and my great pleasure to welcome you all to Government House this afternoon.
Some 12 years ago, as Chief Justice, I concluded an address to the National Family Law Conference on the Gold Coast with a simple analogy: if, in our vast, arid continent, water is our most precious natural resource, then families are our most precious human resource – they are our “roots” so to speak, which must be nurtured.
This was before a conference of specialist family law practitioners, who supported a court system ultimately tasked with familial reparation, so far as that can be achieved.
I trust that you will not view my looking back at that conference address as an exercise in self-aggrandizement, but rather an exercise consistent with today’s occasion – of re-tracing one’s steps.
In doing so it provided a timely reminder that families are our bedrock institution, a greater knowledge of which really does benefit our personal, and thereby community, advancement.
I was reminded of this much two weeks ago, when Kaye and I returned to Longreach for week-long Regional Government House operations.
I spent many happy childhood years in Longreach, where my parents were both teachers; every return visit brings to mind just how pivotal these regional experiences were to my own development.
In many ways this is what the Queensland Family History Society does – it helps Queenslanders to fulfil their basal drive and curiosity to discover not just the “who”, but also the “how” and “why” our families came to be.
Therein lies great social amenity, notwithstanding that the process of discovery can be at times traumatic for some.
I am very proud to be Patron of the Queensland Family History Society. I am even more so proud to be presenting Fellow awards – our Society’s highest honour – to two really remarkable Queenslanders, whose citations our Secretary will shortly read.
Today also provides me with an opportunity to publicly thank and acknowledge our President, Ms Beverley Young, and the extraordinarily dedicated Management Committee.
You are all part of a truly remarkable organisation whose clarion and future-looking vision enables so many Queenslanders to better access their past, and to better understand our distinctive Queensland character.
Please accept the hospitality on offer today as a token of Kaye’s and my gratitude for your beneficial contributions. Thank you.