Morning Tea for Autism Queensland’s Annual Creative Futures Recognition Award Ceremony
The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe MP; Mr Duncan Pegg MP; senior representatives of Autism Queensland, including Chairman, Mr Barry Dennien; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen. Kaye and I are delighted that you have been able to join us here at Government House today for the presentation of Autism Queensland’s Creative Futures Recognition Awards for twenty-seventeen.
I first accepted the invitation to become the patron of Autism Queensland shortly after I was installed as Governor, continuing the tradition established by my predecessor when the awards were first established nine years ago.
In the succeeding three years as patron, Kaye and I have been proud to support these important awards by hosting this ceremony and celebration each year.
The event is always timed to coincide as closely as possible with the International Day of People with Disability.
This day, established by the United Nations twenty-five years ago, is important in reinforcing the message to Australian society that disability does not define a person; that we are all differently abled.
This year’s theme is ‘Transformation towards a sustainable and resilient society for all’.
Stated more simply, this theme expresses the hope that we can create a more inclusive society in which nobody with a disability is left behind; a society in which we all strive to break down the barriers that prevent people from becoming fully contributing members of their community.
Sadly, those barriers still exist, limiting full access to such fundamental aspects of life as justice, health care, education, and employment.
But those who live with disability, those who care for them, and the organisations and individuals who support them, like Autism Queensland and today’s award winners, are committed to reaching that visionary goal of a sustainable, resilient and equal world.
We are fortunate here in Australia that the National Disability Strategy is giving us a nationwide approach to realising that dream, and I congratulate Autism Queensland on the role they have played in advancing that important initiative.
I also congratulate Autism Queensland on the continuing success of these awards. As Governor, it is my privilege to speak for all Queenslanders and, on their behalf I thank them for all that they do to promote public awareness and understanding of autism.
The trophies and certificates presented tonight are symbols of significant achievement and I warmly congratulate each of those receiving an award or special commendation.
Together, you are not only helping to build a creative future for those living with autism, you are building a more inclusive, tolerant society.