Speeches

The Governor is invited to speak at a wide range of significant official, ceremonial and community events, including the Opening of Parliament, ANZAC Day ceremonies and events for Patron groups. A selection of these speeches is available below in a searchable database.

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 at St John's Cathedral, Brisbane

Tenth Anniversary Celebrations of the Consecration of St John’s Cathedral and Launch of St John’s Cathedral: The Windows

Your Grace, our Dean, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. I acknowledge the traditional owners of these lands, and extend respectful greetings to Elders and emerging leaders.

This grand, historic space evokes so many vivid, happy memories for Kaye and me.

There are of course our own long-standing personal connections.

But we feel greatly privileged that so many occasions of State significance at St John’s have coincided with our official duties, including as Chief Justice and Diocesan Chancellor.

It is a great honour to return not infrequently as Governor, to the precinct where Sir George Bowen effectively “ordained” our system of government from the Balcony of Adelaide House in 1859.  

Our grand Cathedral may be a youngling compared to its European counterparts, but in many respects it compares most admirably – and having been privileged to attend many Cathedrals all over the world during our lives to date, Kate and I do regard this – our home Cathedral – as pre-eminently beautiful and inspirational.

The absolutely magnificent stained-glass windows which adorn the intimate Pearson architectural design are themselves an enduring source of Cathedral, Diocesan and State pride.

Each one bears symbols of values of great importance in these fast-moving times.

They wonderfully evoke the teachings of Christ, which in turn act as the spiritual markers of the social justice mission of this congregation.

They also reflect the importance of this Cathedral, and successive congregations, to the historical and spiritual development of our State.

Take the moving tribute on the western wall to Ms Mavis Parkinson and the 11 other Missionaries who perished in Papua New Guinea during the Second World War, a story powerfully retold in Denzil Scrivens’s Anzac Legends book, which I was honoured to launch here in December last year…

Or Scott Maxwell’s brilliant Millennium ‘Incarnation’ unveiled by Her Majesty during her visit in 2002 – the windows acknowledging the 2000th anniversary of the birth of Christ…

And at the risk of being unduly selective, reference must also be made in these brief remarks to the stunning Rose Window of 1910, and the Sesquicentenary Windows dating from 2009.  

How wonderful that all 61 of these windows have been meticulously chronicled by Jacki Scott – and photographed with Ken Lilley’s clearly great skill – in this exquisitely conceived publication, for which I also commend Matthew Tesch. I think another appeal is the inclusion of vignettes from some of the Cathedral Guides.

I thank and congratulate everyone involved in reviewing and updating this book – it looks just terrific! – and in organising this weekend of festivities celebrating a decade since the Cathedral’s consecration.

It is my great honour now to officially launch the second edition of ‘St John’s Cathedral: The Windows’. This wonderful publication will help ensure these magnificent windows live on in the spirit and history of our State and the knowledge and appreciation of its people.