Official Launch of Brisbane Open House 2017
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. It is a great pleasure to join you today to herald Brisbane Open House 2017.
I at once acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands around Brisbane, the Turrbal and Jagera peoples, expressing respect for Elders past and present.
This will be the eighth Open House held in our capital city. I am pleased to say that it is also the eighth to be launched by a Queensland Governor.
Kaye and I have the privilege of living in a historic house par excellence – Fernberg, Government House in Paddington. You can actually see it from up here!
Living in such a house certainly piques interest in the history of the built environment in our State. In about a dozen steps, Kaye and I can move from the original 1865 building, though part of the 1890 mansion, and into the 1937 wing.
And, as Fernberg had a 45-year history before it became Government House in 1910, it comes with fascinating stories of larger-than-life owners like Johann Heussler and John Stevenson, who played important roles in 19th century Queensland.
Because Government House is a building of such high heritage value, we have ensured that as many Queenslanders as possible can enjoy it.
Our most recent initiative has been to establish monthly ‘open’ public tours for anyone who registers through the Government House website.
This complements the existing year-round tours by schools and community groups, our own Open Days and, of course, our participation in this magnificent Open House concept, which is a major and welcome opportunity to reach more Queenslanders.
Living and working in a heritage edifice is by no means a prerequisite for an interest in our prominent buildings.
Open House in Brisbane and other Queensland locations has demonstrated the high level of community interest in how our buildings and public spaces reflect our past, our present and even our future.
This building at 1 William Street, makes its Open House debut this year.
Curiosity will no doubt attract Open House visitors here, but the structure also deserves to be known for innovative design features such as its light-distributing central core, and its very high level of environmental efficiency.
There are different but equally compelling reasons to visit any of the more than ninety buildings that will be accessible during Brisbane Open House 2017.
These buildings offer a smorgasbord of building styles, ages, design, and functions.
The new buildings on this year’s list expand that range further, adding, for instance, award-winning public housing for over-55s, and the control centre of the Clem 7 Tunnel.
All these buildings give us a rare opportunity to understand how architects and builders have responded to our city’s climate, topography, and changes in society, engineering, technology, and knowledge, over many decades.
Each building tells a unique story, a narrative created by the Queenslanders who designed, built, lived and worked – and still live and work – in these fascinating edifices and spaces.
As Brisbane Open House continues to grow, so does the level of skill and effort required to organise it.
I thank the Open House Board, executive, staff and volunteers who make possible this annual celebration of our built environment.
I thank the owners and managers of the buildings that are part of Brisbane Open House for their community spirit and generosity in making them accessible to Queenslanders.
I extend my thanks to the founding partners and many sponsors and supporters of Brisbane Open House. I note, with satisfaction, that this list now fills a whole web page.
I wish Queenslanders great enjoyment in experiencing more of the unique character of Brisbane’s buildings in October.
And it is with the greatest of pleasure, as Patron and Governor, that I officially launch Brisbane Open House 2017.