Townsville GC2018 Commonwealth Games Reception
Our hosts, the Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, The Honourable Jackie Trad MP and the Mayor of Townsville City Council, Councillor Jenny Hill; Minister O’Rourke; Distinguished Guests; Ladies and Gentlemen,
I begin by acknowledging the traditional custodians of Townsville, and express my respect and sincere thanks to the Elders for their Welcome to Country.
It is with great pleasure that Kaye and I join you today in celebrating the excitement of the Commonwealth Games here in North Queensland.
And to celebrate Townsville’s own distinctive contribution to the spirit of the Games.
Townsville’s enthusiasm was on show when the Queen’s Baton Relay came to town last month. Not all of the Baton bearers were as well-known as ‘JT’, but they were all familiar to local communities for their marvellous contributions to North Queensland.
That same enthusiasm is evident in Townsville’s support for the Commonwealth Games basketball preliminary rounds and qualifying finals now underway here.
I cannot claim a deep knowledge of the finer points of basketball, but I know that witnessing the speed and agility of these giants of the sport – giants in every sense – is an unmissable experience.
The chance to see our own Opals in action is a particular thrill.
The Games have brought the Commonwealth of Nations to Townsville. But they are also taking Townsville to the Commonwealth, to a broadcast audience of up to 1.5 billion people in 71 countries.
Townsville is taking full advantage of this marvellous opportunity to showcase the spectacular natural environment of North Queensland, and the warmth and friendliness of its people.
Of course, the Games experience is not limited to sport. There is also Festival 2018, a busy schedule of cultural events, many of them free, featuring local, national and international artists.
I am delighted so see that there is a substantial indigenous element to the Festival.
This reflects the richness of indigenous cultures in their own right.
It also echoes the goals of the Commonwealth Games Reconciliation Action Plan, which has already delivered tangible benefits for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples including employment and procurement opportunities, and skills development.
For all of these reasons, and as Governor for all Queenslanders, I am delighted that the Commonwealth Games have come to Townsville.
I thank the Games organisers, the Queensland Government, Townsville City Council, and all those who have contributed to Games events in Townsville, for their hard work, generous spirit, and dedication.
And I thank the communities of North Queensland for their unique and invaluable contributions to the spirit and success of the 2018 Commonwealth Games.