Reception in support of Patronage Organisations
It is always a great pleasure for Kaye and me to welcome to Government House the organisations of which we are the proud Patrons.
Occasions like tonight’s reception are important because they enable us to publicly acknowledge the immense contributions that your organisations make.
The organisations represented here tonight from the medical, education and humanitarian sectors are the backbone of communities throughout Queensland: your volunteers give time and effort and help raise funds; your staff are passionate about the not-for-profit sector and about giving back; and your founders and boards of directors are committed to building a stronger and more compassionate Australian society.
Engagement with our patronage organisations never cease to inspire us.
Occasions such as tonight are enormously influential because they provide us with the opportunity for face-to-face contact with people from so many organisations, and direct experience of their passion, commitment and drive.
Community-based and not-for-profit enterprises are not only a feature of Australian society; they are a vital part of every Western democracy, and every one of them strives to enhance its public profile to help raise funds and support.
This is where, Kaye and I believe, patronage can play a vital role.
Here in Australia, our vice-regal representatives support, between them, many hundreds of organisations who represent a powerful force for good in Australian society.
Patronage may be an ancient tradition, but it is far from outmoded, and demonstrates, daily, that our society and our values are built on a commitment to charity and to helping those who are unable to help themselves.
Ladies and gentlemen, two things have become very clear to Kaye and me over the past three years: the first is that Queenslanders do look after each other, with an immense spirit of optimism, a fact wonderfully epitomised by our patronage organisations.
Second, Queenslanders have an insatiable curiosity for this role and all that it entails, including the proud heritage of vice-regal patronage. And so tonight we proudly display this magnificent portrait of Diamantina, Lady Bowen, the wife of our first Governor, Sir George Bowen.
The portrait was gifted by Lady Bowen prior to her departure from Queensland in the 1860s to the Sisters of Mercy Brisbane Congregation, who in turn have kindly loaned it to Government House.
Lady Bowen is fondly recalled today for her staunch advocacy and support of many beneficial causes, and her legacy lives on through the eponymous Trust of which I am proud to be Patron.
Her presence here tonight provides us with a tangible link to that rich vein of vice-regal patronage, and to the benevolent values you seek to epitomise as you go about your work.
Kaye and I are truly honoured that you could join us tonight. We thank you all once again for your uplifting contributions, and we look forward to speaking to many of you throughout the course of the evening.