Reception for the Presentation of Australian Institute of International Affairs (Queensland) Awards
President, and former member of the Executive Council of Queensland, the Honourable Paul Lucas, and all AIIA Queensland office-holders; Consul-General of Japan in Queensland, Mr Kazunari Tanaka; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen. Kaye and I warmly welcome members and guests of the AIIA Queensland to Government House today.
We have recently returned from a visit to the UK and the Netherlands, during which we had the privilege of our third audience with Her Majesty The Queen.
We also met with senior representatives of business, potential investors, and of the Commonwealth of Nations.
As you are acutely aware, there are some on-going, particularly complex and high-profile issues in play in that part of the world.
During the visit, we benefitted once again from professional advice and guidance provided by Queensland’s and Australia’s official representatives in those countries. In that respect, I also acknowledge with pleasure the work of the consular representatives here today.
Gaining a reasonable understanding of any international development is a substantial challenge. This is especially so given the speed with which information now reaches us, the sheer volume of that information, and the growing need to treat a proportion of it with appropriate scepticism.
All of this underlines the continuing need for independent, informed organisations committed to encouraging interest in, and understanding of, the international environment – and its impact on Queenslanders and more broadly Australians.
The AIIA Queensland is, and has been since the nineteen-thirties, an exemplar in this sphere, supporting the community in Queensland in ‘making sense’ of these developments by encouraging the dissemination and discussion of a variety of informed views.
The Institute’s publications provide both interested professionals, and those who are simply interested, to access a variety of thoughtful and incisive analyses on major issues.
Publications are but one element of the Institute’s comprehensive and impressive suite of programs – seminars, lectures, the annual National Conference, support for bilateral dialogues, education, research and, importantly, programs designed to engage the interest of young people in international affairs.
The AIIA Queensland’s International Scholarship falls squarely into that category, just as the AIIA Queensland Award acknowledges notable contributions to the Institute’s goals. I congratulate the winners.
In the interim, as Governor and Patron, I extend my sincere congratulations to the AIIA Queensland for another successful year in promoting the importance of international relations in the life of our State.
And I wish the Council, office-holders and membership every success in the year ahead. Thank you.