Reception for YMCA Queensland Youth Parliament
Youth Governor of Queensland, Mr Drew Cutler; YMCA Queensland Youth Parliament representatives; ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to Government House.
Don’t take this unduly to heart, but you are in fact a wonderful group of young Queenslanders who, dare I say, could very well be the next generation of parliamentarians.
One of my most significant duties as Governor is the opening of Parliament following a State Election: being informed of an upcoming election is of course central to this role.
Most often it will happen when the Governor is here.
I recall however, exotically, being advised of the intent once in the middle of the night per telephone from Brisbane, when I was in a plane 30,000 feet above Eastern Europe – in the course of official travel – and that exemplified the courtesy and recognition which characterise this regime and its predecessors.
Another key task for a Governor is the granting of Royal Assent to Bills passed in the Legislative Assembly.
As Governor, I am of course conscious that some legislation is controversial, and so I have thought it appropriate to grant assent without delay, where that is right, to minimise concern.
Am I revealing too many secrets?
Another part of my role is to determine applications for pardons from convicted criminals. I dealt with one of considerable significance last week, and I think the Attorney-General will tell us about that in the next few days.
Youth Governor Cutler, our remit is importantly broad, and I have not even broached the ceremonial and community aspects!
But reverting to the constitutional, I believe we can say with conviction that our democratic system has gloriously passed the test of time, serving us with great distinction latterly since 1901, the year Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia, and Western Australia united and formed the Commonwealth of Australia; but even from earlier than that, with the establishment in 1859 of the separate colony of Queensland.
And so, YMCA Queensland Youth Parliament is a unique opportunity for you to learn – learn about politics and learn how to use democratic means to make our marvellous State an even better place to be.
You are the voice of other young people in your electorates, advising politicians and decisionmakers on issues that matter to you and your constituents.
As a participant in the YMCA Queensland Youth Parliament, you will interact with members of the Government and Opposition, and have your say in debates on topical issues, so you can make a difference.
Indeed, our next generation of parliamentarians will bring new ideas, while learning new skills.
Looking around this room and seeing so much assembled talent, I have every confidence in the future of our nation, our State, and our democracy.
Do not lose your valuably youthful mindsets.
Kaye and I were students in the 60s, an era branded as ‘idealistic’.
All that meant, though importantly, was that we were not fixated on what were essentially trivial points of pop culture – and there was a lot of that around in the 60s, but we did think about real issues, ultimately how we could best serve our fellow citizens.
Service, young people, is the keystone, and always has been.
I wish you a wonderful experience through Youth Parliament, and I am sure you will make the most of every opportunity.