Afternoon Reception in Support of the Queensland Police Commissioned Officers’ Mess
Commissioner Carroll; Mess President, Inspector Joyce; proud members of the Queensland Police Commissioned Officers’ Mess. Kaye and I warmly welcome you all to Government House.
I at once acknowledge the traditional owners of these lands and extend respectful greetings to Elders and emerging leaders.
As is clear from the altered arrangements for this afternoon’s reception, and indeed all functions that have recently re-commenced here at Government House, we find ourselves adjusting to an unwelcome situation that was not even on the horizon a year ago.
One way or another the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the lives of everyone in the State.
The Queensland Police Service has been ‘front and centre’ in overseeing measures taken to protect the community in circumstances that can and do change rapidly.
Meeting these challenges has required flexibility and great commitment from all QPS personnel and has no doubt placed additional leadership responsibilities on all Commissioned Officers.
Queenslanders appreciate the way that our State’s Police Service has taken on these additional challenges. Queenslanders also appreciate that these duties are not without risk to QPS personnel – something that is common to so many everyday police duties, as an incident in Brisbane earlier this month starkly reminded us.
But let us put COVID-19 aside just for the moment – if only it were that easy!
Kaye and I have many other reasons to be thankful to the QPS
We are grateful for the respect and professionalism that QPS officers have invariably shown during our travels all over Queensland, and for opportunities to thank them personally, as occurred on recent visits to Ingham and Birdsville.
And we are grateful also for the wonderful service of our Government House Honorary Aides-de-Camp from the QPS, Detective Inspector Melissa Anderson and Acting Inspector Donna Stewart.
Once again this year, I have been inspired when presenting Australian Honours and Awards, including bravery awards and the prestigious Australian Police Medals, to QPS personnel at investiture ceremonies, hearing of selfless and devoted service to community safety.
All of this is eminently worth celebrating and this evening is an opportunity to relax a little in convivial company and do just that. I’m not sure what the Mess’s unwritten rules about ‘talking shop’ are, but even that might be allowed today.
Kaye and I sincerely thank all QPS personnel for their steadfast commitment to serving our communities, whether in routine duties or those more dramatic events that tend to capture the headlines.
We extend our best wishes for the safety and well-being of QPS personnel and their loved ones as we live through these uncertain times.