Afternoon tea for the Winston Churchill Fellowship awards presentation
Winston Churchill Fellowship National Chairman, Mr David Trebeck; Queensland Regional Committee Chairman, Dr Damien Thomson; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen.
Kaye and I welcome you most warmly to Government House this afternoon.
Ultimately, we are all here today because of Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill – soldier, journalist, historian, orator, and Nobel Prize winner – who is perhaps best remembered for his extraordinary leadership through the darkest days of World War Two.
Such was Sir Winston’s stature that three hundred thousand people filed passed his coffin as it lay-in-state at Westminster Hall prior to his state funeral in 1965. Hundreds of thousands more lined the streets of London to bid him farewell.
Such is his stature that more than one thousand books have been written about his life.
One of Sir Winston’s many great legacies is the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, a concept that he enthusiastically approved of when it was proposed in his later years.
Australians approved of it too.
In a one-day doorknock soon after Sir Winston’s death in 1965, they contributed a staggering 911,000 pounds, about 24 million dollars in today’s money, to support the trust.
The trust’s fellowships enable ‘ordinary Australians with extraordinary abilities and aspirations’ to travel overseas, learn from the best and brightest in their fields, and bring the benefits back to their communities.
The Churchill Fellowships are, in other words, a legacy that just keeps on giving.
In that spirit, the 19 deserving Queenslanders who have received Fellowships this year are pursuing an extraordinary variety of projects that address contemporary issues.
They range from smart mobility for more liveable Australian communities, to improving the marketability in Australia of Brahman cattle. From the prevention of elder abuse, to virtual reality storytelling.
All 19 are impressive and admirable initiatives which will bring real benefits to Queenslanders.
On behalf of those Queenslanders, Kaye and I congratulate this year’s Fellows – and their proud families and supporters – and wish the 2018 awardees a busy, enjoyable and highly productive time as they pursue their projects.
We look forward to the benefits that their hard work will bring to fellow Queenslanders.
We thank the selection committee and the trust’s board for their hard work in choosing the 2018 awardees from what is no doubt a highly competitive field.
And we invite you now to join us in enjoying the hospitality of your Government House, in celebrating this year’s deserving Churchill Fellows.