Queensland Council of Social Service 60 years of service Reception
Chair of the Queensland Council of Social Service Mr Matt Gardiner, CEO, Mr Mark Henley, Directors-General, Commissioners, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.
I at once acknowledge the traditional owners of the lands on which we gather, the Turrbul and Jagera people, and pay respect to their Elders past and present, with encouragement to their young emerging leaders.
Kaye and I warmly welcome you to your Government House this afternoon as we commemorate 60 years of unbroken service to the people of Queensland by QCOSS.
Since its inception in 1959, QCOSS has been a strong advocate for people experiencing poverty and disadvantage, working to change systemic issues to make it possible for every member of our community to have a good life.
It seems a simple ideal. Every Queenslander should be treated equally with respect, dignity and compassion but we cannot sugarcoat the reality that not everyone is treated the same.
I am committed to being Governor for all Queenslanders and I am particularly pleased to note that QCOSS is equally committed to regional Queensland in its reports on issues that concern regional communities as well as those in our populated cities.
Living affordability is just as relevant in Rockhampton, Mount Isa and Bundaberg as it is in Brisbane.
QCOSS started as a strong advocate for people experiencing poverty.
Now, as you celebrate your 60-year jubilee your focus also recognises the strengths of communities and works alongside them to achieve equality, well-being and opportunity for every person in every Queensland community.
While it is important to identify the issues, it is equally critical that we find pathways to help those struggling, and that is where QCOSS has forged some of its best work by assisting with the development of good ideas, policies and solutions.
A single voice can often struggle to be heard, but when a group such as QCOSS bonds together 600 member organisations, it becomes a potent force for change.
I encourage you to continue leading debates about Australia’s future, ask questions and demand simple clear answers.
As Martin Luther King said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”.
On behalf of all Queenslanders, and as patron of QCOSS, I thank the Board, staff, and members of QCOSS, as well as the vital sponsors, funders, and partner organisations in the community service sector. It is my sincere wish that QCOSS will continue to serve our Queensland communities for at least another 60 years.