Afternoon Reception for The Lady Musgrave Trust
Councillor Vicki Howard; Trust President, Ms Patricia McCormack and Board Members; CEO, Mrs Karen Lyon Reid and fellow staff; ladies and gentlemen, distinguished as are you all. Kaye and I are delighted to welcome you all as the treasured, stalwart supporters of the Lady Musgrave Trust to Government House.
Your foundress, Lady Musgrave, never resided in this historic home, but here at Fernberg we cherish her memory.
Last year, this vice-regal Office commissioned a book on the Governors of Queensland and their spouses.
Entitled “A Portrait of a Governor”, it brings together, for the first time, portraits of all of Queensland’s Governors with a short biography of each Governor and their spouse.
The vignette we chose to illustrate the compassionate spirit of Jeannie Lucinda Musgrave is that of this most extraordinary woman greeting immigrant ships as they berthed, taking a particular interest in the welfare of any young woman not met by friends, relatives or an employer.
Lady Musgrave understood that if she was to help vulnerable young women, she had to be at the right place at the right time, when their need was greatest.
The same insight has led to the development by the Trust of the Handy Guide for Homeless Women mobile app.
As close at hand as their mobile phone, the app is there for women in their urgent time of need – just as the helping hand of Lady Musgrave was present for those vulnerable women at the docks more than 130 years ago.
Students of history, or those who have read “A Vision Fulfilled” will know of the small band of loyal supporters who worked with Lady Musgrave to bring to reality a compassionate and practical service to help homeless women and women at risk.
You are the heirs of those loyal supporters, faithfully steering this enormously important charity – now Queensland’s oldest – to work in partnership with likeminded organisations to prevent and address the scourge of homelessness.
This past year, I had the honour of presenting the Lady Musgrave Trust with a grant for $15,000 from the Lady Bowen Trust, of which I am also Patron, toward the provision of furniture in units for crisis and transitional accommodation.
It is clear that the work of the Lady Musgrave Trust is highly valued by the women it helps, and highly respected by the many organisations with whom it collaborates.
This work is only possible through the dedication of its staff and the Trust’s many supporters, who are so magnificently represented here at Fernberg this afternoon. It is my privilege as the Trust’s Patron, and as your Governor, to thank you all, as Kaye and I wish the Trust every success in the year ahead as you work to help the vulnerable women of Queensland in their time of greatest need. Thank you.