Queensland Library Foundation Reception for Major Donors
Your Honour; our Foundation President, Mr Max Walters, and Councillors; Chairperson of the Library Board of Queensland, Professor Andrew Griffiths, and Board Directors; State Librarian, Ms Vicki McDonald; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen. Kaye and I are delighted to join you today to celebrate the work of the Queensland Library Foundation and its generous supporters.
I acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands around Brisbane, the Turrbal and Jagera peoples, whose enduring connection is so often appropriately acknowledged and celebrated here at this magnificent State institution.
Kaye and I always knew that the work of the State Library was varied and fascinating, but not that it included matchmaking services – of a highly specialised kind!
That is why we are all able to see and enjoy the portraits of Lord Lamington, Queensland’s eighth Governor, and of Lady Lamington, brought together here at the Library today.
Even Government House has joined in. Our portrait of Sir George Bowen, Queensland’s first Governor, is currently side-by-side with a splendid portrait of Lady Bowen, generously loaned by the Sisters of Mercy while historic Adderton undergoes restoration works.
The Bowens were Queensland’s first Vice-Regal couple. But Lord and Lady Lamington also helped to guide Queensland through a time of major change – in particular the transition from colony to State of the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901.
These portraits allow us to look into the faces, even the personalities, which helped make Queensland. They are excellent examples of the great importance of such objects to our State’s history, heritage, and identity.
Our State’s history comprises innumerable traces of the lives of Queenslanders, beginning with the Indigenous people of the region tens of thousands of years ago.
These traces come in many forms – among them oral histories, artworks, photographs, formal records of organisations, and private letters.
Our much-loved State Library is the major player in the collection and conservation of the traces of so many lives.
And in that role, the Library is generously supported by many individuals and organisations who donate to its Foundation.
Their generosity expands the Library’s capacity to identify, gather, and conserve these individual pieces of history and heritage, and to bring them into the public sphere, to give all of us glimpses into those lives.
This is a wonderful act of community service, of which donors have every right to feel proud.
As Patron of the Foundation, I sincerely thank the Foundation’s donors for the marvellous contribution they make to our understanding of how Queenslanders came to be who we are.
And on behalf of all Queenslanders, I wish the Foundation and the Library continuing success in that important role.