Official Launch of Gold Coast Open House Program
Councillors; Open House Chair, Ms Pearce; Mr Follent, whom I thank for the kind invitation to join you today; distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.
I at once acknowledge the traditional owners of the lands on which we are gathered. I extend respectful greetings to Yugambeh Elders and emerging leaders.
As Governor of Queensland, it is my great pleasure to be here today to launch the Gold Coast Open House program for 2019.
The Gold Coast is well-known for its pristine beaches, stretching some fifty-seven kilometres astride World Heritage Listed Hinterland.
Also well-known is the variegated sequence of buildings which rises like a spine, dissecting those landscapes, forming the Gold Coast’s unique skyline.
Rather than a uniform approach, these buildings reflect different eras, styles, building materials and architectural influences.
This will date me instantly, but speaking of ‘eras’, I fondly recall dining, with Kaye, at Margot Kelly’s elegant Hibiscus Room on Hanlan Street in Surfers Paradise while a barrister during the 70s.
Those were the days of Coquille St Jacques entrée, Tournedos Rossini, including foie gras, as the main, and then for dessert, flaming Crêpes Suzette served at the table! How did we survive those days… in my case, just!
The building which housed that restaurant, itself reflective of the times, was demolished in 1980 to make way for the Beachcomber, still part of the kaleidoscopic diversity which delineates the Gold Coast built environment as wonderfully special.
And far from shying away from this diversity of design, it is the confection of these intersecting elements – including the strikingly modern here at the Star Gold Coast’s ‘The Landing’ – which creates that cherished Gold Coast style.
From the Spit and Broadwater through the canal systems and out to the Hinterland, Gold Coast Open House invites locals and visitors to go behind the scenes and discover the stories of the buildings and spaces which give the Gold Coast its distinctive character.
I am particularly pleased this year’s program once again features several significant heritage buildings, including the former Southport Town Hall, the Ambulance Station and Queensland Naval Brigade Drill Hall.
This built heritage amplifies the Gold Coast’s desirability, it does not constrain it. Gold Coast Open House is to be commended for embracing the historical and the modern.
I thank everyone who has supported Gold Coast Open House over the past five years, including founding partners Gold Coast City Council, the National Trust of Queensland and the Australian Institute of Architects – congratulations on the milestone, and how fitting this year’s program is the most extensive yet.
I further thank all staff, sponsors and volunteers who ensure the program’s continuing attractiveness.
I wish Gold Coast Open House every success and encourage residents to use this opportunity to explore this wonderful City, and to see the built environment through different lenses, to celebrate its architecture and to continue to be proud to call the Gold Coast home.
In that spirit of pride and celebration, it gives me great honour to now officially launch the Gold Coast Open House program for 2019. Thank you.