Reception for the Perry Cross Spinal Research Foundation
Founder and President, Mr Perry Cross; Board Members and staff; other distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen. Kaye and I welcome you all most warmly to Government House today.
At once I acknowledge the traditional owners of the lands around Brisbane, the Turrbal and Jagera peoples, extending respect for their Elders, past and present.
The idea to host this function emerged from a briefing I received from Foundation Patron, the Honourable Dame Quentin Bryce, earlier this year detailing the efforts of this uplifting organisation. Dame Quentin sends her apologies and best wishes for this evening.
I thought this function would be an excellent way of honouring the work of Perry and his Foundation, and of providing them with additional profile within the Queensland community.
Mr Cross has heard many times that he is a remarkable person. I’m delighted to make him listen to those words again today.
Everyone would have understood if Mr Cross had simply focused on the challenges of everyday life after an accident at age 19 left him a C2 ventilated quadriplegic.
But Mr Cross had the strength to look beyond the confronting personal challenges involved. His thoughts turned quickly to all those who live with serious spinal injuries.
Mr Cross has harnessed his exceptional drive and energy to support the search for a cure for paralysis. Clearly, his courage and vision have inspired many others to join him.
Mr Cross established the Foundation that bears his name to advocate, raise funds and facilitate global connections and collaborations that could more effectively accelerate progress towards a cure for paralysis.
The Foundation now boasts a team of eminent experts in spinal injuries and medicine to assist the Foundation’s work.
Promising research is under way at Griffith University, based on the pioneering work of Australian of the Year Professor Alan Mackay-Sim – whom we are delighted can join us tonight, in a project led by Dr James St John and boosted by a five million dollar grant from the Queensland Government.
Mr Cross and his team have attracted high-profile figures like Dame Quentin as ambassadors.
They have been able to bring on board a wide range of generous partners, sponsors and supporters.
That’s a mighty impressive list of achievements already!
I thank wholeheartedly all those who are engaged, with great dedication, in making Mr Cross’s vision a reality – including his family and other carers.
I thank the Foundation’s Board and Scientific Committee, and the organisation’s executive, staff and marvellous volunteers for their hard work and commitment to Mr Cross’s vision.
And Kaye and I wish Mr Cross and the Foundation every success in achieving the goal we all support – a complete cure for spinal cord injuries.