Consular Corps of Queensland Christmas Dinner 2017
Minister Grace; Dean of the Consular Corps of Queensland, Mrs Hermosilla-Silva; all members of the Consular Corps; Commissioner; other distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen. It is always a great pleasure for Kaye and me to be in the convivial company of the Consular Corps and its special guests at this time of year – or at any time of the year.
In part, this is because the Consular Corps is always first out of the blocks with its Christmas celebration – and with the Commonwealth Games now only four months away, “out of the blocks” is a particularly apt phrase.
And, in part, it is because of our respect and admiration for the work of career consular representatives based in our State, and of honorary consuls, all of whom dedicate their time and energy to protecting the consular interests of the countries they represent.
The next few weeks, and particularly the days between Christmas and New Year, provide an opportunity for us all to draw breath before the once-in-a-generation event that is the Commonwealth Games looms large in the lives of all Queenslanders.
I am sure March and April will be a particularly busy time for the consular corps, especially for those of you who represent countries participating in the Games.
It is all the more important, then, to take full advantage of the festive season, to enjoy the company of family and friends, to eat too much turkey and pudding, seafood and trifle, or any other choice of Christmas culinary delights.
It is all the more important to heed the Christmas message of charity, hope and optimism, and to carry those sentiments forward into the New Year in everything we do.
The warmth and natural friendliness of Queenslanders will be on show to well over a billion people around the globe during the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in April.
And the Games will serve to remind us, in the best possible way, that what unites us as Queenslanders, and as global citizens, is stronger than the forces that – sadly predictably – seek to divide us.
Kaye and I look forward to seeing you at the Commonwealth Games.
We wish you, your colleagues, and loved ones, a joyous festive season and a wonderful and fulfilling 2018.