Civic Reception Hosted by Cook Shire Council
Thank you, Mayor Scott, for your kind introduction, and the characteristically warm hospitality Council has afforded to Kaye and me on our first visit to your nationally significant community.
I acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the lands around Cooktown and express my respect for them, and their Elders. In doing so I acknowledge also the indispensable contributions of our Indigenous co-citizens to our State and national identities.
Kaye and I are very pleased to join you this afternoon.
We view these receptions as highly important occasions, because they give us the opportunity to meet and speak to so many of you, our fellow Queenslanders, Queenslanders in today’s context who play such a tremendous role in keeping this community strong and vibrant.
Cooktown is remarkable really for its marvellous spirit, drawing as it does on our significant foundational Indigenous heritage, and our European heritage.
We understand visitors and locals alike enjoyed the colour and pageantry of the Discovery Festival and the re-enactment of Cook’s landing in 1770… and I am sure our Mayor will not protest my encouraging many more visitors, particularly as we approach the 250th anniversary commemorations in 2020 of Cook’s grounding here.
Today, we were particularly delighted to spend time in this wonderful Museum, to view its galleries and meet the volunteers and staff.
The building is fine example of our built heritage, and our State owes a debt of thanks to the people of Far North Queensland who banded together in the late 1960s to rescue this grand old lady and restore her to the glory we enjoy today.
It is clear that the volunteers are truly the heart of the Museum, and as Patron of the National Trust in Queensland, it was inspiring to see how wonderfully the Trust’s objectives are being served here in Cooktown.
Mayor Scott, Councillors, I also pay tribute to you as the local government representatives of the largest shire in terms of land area in Queensland – over 100 000 square kilometres, which I’m told is larger than the area of Hungary in Central Europe, and around the same size as the nation of South Korea.
As Governor, I am privileged to spend time with our State’s local government representatives and I have the highest respect for the job you do and the considerable challenges you face.
I thank the Cook Shire Council for the hospitality and support you have shown Kaye and I during this regional visit, as we go about supporting the wonderful, genuine and big-hearted people of Cooktown… and beyond, with Cooktown serving as our base for visits to Lockhart River, Aurukun and Hopevale over the coming days.
We thank you for the very warm welcome you have extended to us, and we look forward to meeting many of you this afternoon. Thank you.