Queensland Rural, Regional and Remote Women’s Network Ekka Week High Tea
Deb Frecklington MP; Ros Bates MP; other distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen. I am delighted to join you here today, in the magnificent heritage setting of the Ithaca Room, for the fifth annual Ekka High Tea hosted by the Queensland Rural, Regional and Remote Women’s Network.
I too acknowledge the traditional owners of the lands around Brisbane, the Turrbal and Jagera peoples, expressing respect for their Elders past and present.
This wonderful Network has now been connecting and inspiring women from all over our vast State for almost a quarter of a century.
That philosophy of connecting and inspiring is very much in line with my own commitment to serve all Queenslanders.
We need to build and sustain resilient and mutually supportive communities, the Network makes an important contribution to that goal, reaching out to all Queensland women.
This annual ‘city meets country’ High Tea has become as much a part of the EKKA as fairy floss, waffles and dagwood dogs.
I was amused to discover recently that the original high tea was actually much closer to dagwood dogs than to the delicate sandwiches and cakes of high teas today.
In mid-eighteenth century Britain, high tea was a substantial late afternoon meal for the working man, eaten standing up or sitting on tall stools – hence ‘high’ tea.
In the intervening centuries, the high tea in Britain has become a much more refined event and the concept has now been adopted and adapted with great enthusiasm all over Australia.
Today’s theme of ‘fibre to fashion’ offers both entertainment and serious food for thought, and I am very much looking forward to hearing the panel members talking about the creative and influential work each of them is doing.
I congratulate the Network’s board and organising committee on this splendid event and thank the sponsors who have helped make it possible for Queensland women to come together to share tea, conversation, and – most importantly – stimulating and inspiring stories and ideas.
I was particularly pleased to learn that profits raised from today’s event will enable young women from drought affected areas to attend the organisation’s annual conference in Emerald later in the year. This is a wonderful, practical initiative, which I am sure will be highly appreciated by recipients, and indeed by all conference delegates.
Thank you for all that you do, and for the invitation to join you today. Enjoy your afternoon – and the twenty-seventeen EKKA.