Opening of the ADC Australian Leadership Retreat 2019
Ambassadors, High Commissioner, Federal Minister for Government Services and the National Disability Insurance Scheme Stuart Robert, International and Australian Davos members, elected representatives, forum council members, and retreat participants.
I welcome you all warmly to the State of Queensland and to the Gold Coast, Australia’s sixth-largest city.
I at once acknowledge the Yugambeh People as the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we meet. I pay my respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and recognise their connection to culture and the lands and waters of the Gold Coast. And I extend that respect to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples here today.
It is a great pleasure to join you today at this 2019 ADC Forum Leadership Retreat.
Attendees at this event soon realise, by looking out of the windows, that there is much to retreat from. The marvellous distractions of the Gold Coast begin on your doorstep and I urge you to take advantage of them – when appropriate of course.
But there is yet another compelling reason to look out of the window. The City of the Gold Coast, though still rightly known as a major tourist destination for its sun, surf and sand, continues to deepen and broaden its economic profile.
Alongside the long golden beaches, and the tropical rainforest in the hinterland are cutting edge research hubs, particularly in health, high-quality education institutions, a flourishing arts scene and world-class international film and television production facilities.
Sport too is a focus, for both elite athletes and the broader community, boosted by the infrastructure legacy of the Commonwealth Games held so successfully here a year ago, with 6,600 athletes and officials and 1 point 2 million tickets sold.
The legacy of the Games also includes world class telecommunications and transport infrastructure, which the Gold Coast is making the most of.
These strategies do not emerge, fully-formed, from nowhere. They require future-oriented thinking, awareness of best practice, and access to expert analysis and opinion.
And this annual retreat undoubtedly ranks very highly as an eminent source of expert opinion, experience and insight in this context.
The future-oriented program set by the ADC Forum over the next two and a half days is demanding and ambitious…. as it should be.
The highly relevant issues under discussion include competitiveness, financing crucial sectors including energy and health, the environment, and trade.
Ultimately, the aim of the Forum’s deliberations is to turn the ordinary meaning of ‘retreat’ on its head – by reaching out to communities to share the fruits of your discussions and conclusions.
In that respect, I wish you a robust, stimulating, productive and successful retreat that encourages the on-going development of thriving, well-resourced communities across Australia.
And on that positive note, it is now my great pleasure to declare the 2019 ADC Forum Leadership Retreat officially open.