Reception for the Queensland Police Commissioned Officers’ Mess
Commissioner of Queensland Police Service, Mr Ian Stewart and Mrs Carol Stewart; Commissioner of Queensland Corrective Services, Mr Peter Martin; ladies and gentlemen.
Kaye and I are delighted to welcome you all to Government House. It is a great pleasure for us to host this afternoon reception to acknowledge the wonderful work of the Queensland Police Service, a service which has enjoyed a historic year.
The QPS played a lead role in delivering a safe and successful Commonwealth Games, not only on the Gold Coast, but extending north to Townsville and Cairns, where Kaye and I were honoured to attend three basketball fixtures.
The dedication and commitment of our men and women in blue was also on full display during the royal visit to our State by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall in April, stopping at the Gold Coast while also spending time in Brisbane, Bundaberg and Cairns.
Although this visit coincided with the unprecedented task of policing the Commonwealth Games, the QPS continued to provide significant support for Government House operations, and for that I am certainly most grateful.
Government House has been most fortunate to enjoy a long relationship with the service, and four years into my term, I wholeheartedly thank you for your ongoing support in terms of personal security, Open Day activities, transport arrangements, traffic management, and the provision of our outstanding Honorary Aides-de-Camp, among other operations.
As QPS officers who have sworn to keep Her Majesty’s peace, you serve your communities with a sense of selflessness that is to be admired. Similarly, your patience, perseverance, integrity and courage.
As to selflessness, Kaye and I have, I suppose, some standing to make an observation having ourselves been in the public service for decades. Ladies and gentlemen, you do this job because you find it fulfilling, personally; but beyond that, your sincere commitment really benefits our people – please never forget that: you are, in truth, enormously appreciated. Now reverting to this afternoon’s immediate theme, which is not so much to talk about ourselves …
There is great benefit to be found in the collegiality and friendship afforded by organisations like the QPS, and indeed by extension, the Queensland Police Commissioned Officers’ Mess.
The Mess encourages mutual support and offers police who serve in often-difficult circumstances a well-deserved opportunity to simply enjoy some rest and relaxation.
As such, the Mess constitutes an important – and inclusive – service within the QPS, and I congratulate and thank the various committee members for helping to provide this peer support opportunity.
Whether they are stationed in the outback or here in our State capital, Brisbane, I have enormous respect for the nearly 12,000 police officers in all parts of Queensland who serve their communities with honour and distinction.
We are incredibly fortunate to have so many capable men and women in Queensland who see the protection of their fellow citizens as an honourable calling, and who have so ably risen to the challenge.
We have met many of them over the past four years especially: we regard it as important and a privilege to call on our police when out of Brisbane, and we are invariably impressed. That is not to downplay, Commissioner, our great respect and admiration for our police State-wide, including our metropolitan police.
You are simply amazing people: you respond calmly to danger, you respond with expertise and measure, and you so often allay concerns experienced by us, if I may say, more ordinary human beings.
Kaye and I wish to thank you wholeheartedly for your unremitting efforts in the upholding of law and order. Your ongoing dedication to all Queenslanders is tremendously appreciated, which as Governor I very warmly assert.