Morning Tea for Autism Queensland’s Annual Creative Futures Recognition Awards Ceremony
Member for Mount Ommaney, Ms Jessica Pugh; Autism Queensland Chairman, Mr Ian Langdon; CEO, Ms Pam Macrosson; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen; boys and girls. It is a great pleasure to welcome you to Government House this morning for the presentation of this year’s Autism Queensland Creative Futures Recognition Awards.
This is the sixth time Kaye and I have had the honour of hosting this special event. As your Patron, I always look forward to hearing about the wonderful achievements this awards ceremony highlights.
It is fitting that we celebrate these awards on the International Day of People with Disability. As the United Nations strives to promote the participation of people with disabilities, Autism Queensland’s own organisational vision is closely aligned.
Yet, the very nature of this complex condition adds another dimension to the challenge. No two people living with ASD are alike.
The severity, characteristics and behaviours that lead to each individual’s diagnosis are unique.
It can therefore be difficult for those who are unaffected to make sense of something that – to them – is largely invisible.
For this reason, I applaud Autism Queensland for giving voice to people on the Autism spectrum, and to carers and supporters.
The magnificent work you do informing and educating the many Queenslanders accessing your services each year has a much broader impact, as the message for greater inclusion reaches into our community.
We all need to take responsibility for breaking down the barriers.
The outstanding achievements recognised by today’s award recipients give me great hope, because your stories symbolize what is possible when people, from varied circumstances, have a shared aspiration.
You may each have come from a different place to achieve excellence, but you are all contributing to making the world and its opportunities more accessible.
Individuals are bravely following their dreams, despite obstacles.
Families and carers are leading the drive for acceptance.
Those in businesses are seeking new ways to provide support; those in our schools and community-based organisations are fostering greater understanding; and those who are patrons are spreading the message further.
Your example encourages others to follow, and for that, I not only congratulate you but wholeheartedly thank you.
On behalf of all Queenslanders, I commend the board, staff, supporters and volunteers of Autism Queensland for your dedication and determination.
Together, all of us will help realise “a life of participation, opportunity and choice” for people with ASD and help ensure that no one is left behind.