Queensland Seniors Week Morning Tea
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Government House, your Government House.
I at once acknowledge the traditional owners of the lands around Brisbane and extend respectful greetings to Elders and emerging leaders.
We are delighted that you can be here with us – in person – to celebrate the contributions of Queensland Seniors, as we approach this most special 2020 Queensland Seniors Week, from 15 to 23 August.
I know many of you may be apprehensive about outings at the moment. We of course take every precaution here at Fernberg to ensure your safety – health checks, limiting guest numbers and vigilance with hygiene and food handling. I am very appreciative of your attendance.
What a difficult year 2020 has been. Many Queenslanders began the year blighted by bushfires and drought – the pain persists. Then COVID-19 forced all us into isolation, and community attention was focused on vulnerable members of our society who needed special care.
At this time, I telephoned several “older” Queenslanders – I say that affectionately, as I qualify as one myself – with the thought of lifting the spirits of those who found themselves disconnected from the outside world, including a delightful conversation with Warwick senior citizen, Mrs Joy Otto.
During isolation, Kaye and I often found ourselves yearning for the warmth and affection of our nearest and dearest. Indeed, for us, one of the most challenging aspects of social distancing, has been the inability to hug our grandchildren.
While genuine hugs are still off limits, I was delighted to learn that this year, in Seniors Week, we are being invited to give “virtual” hugs. Never has the sentiment of a hug been more important, to share our joys and show our fondness.
Let us all embrace this opportunity to thank our Seniors.
The contribution Queensland Seniors make is indeed vital and far reaching. Not only do they contribute as volunteers, workers and community leaders, but also as loving carers and mentors.
I sincerely thank each of you – and your organisations, so many of which I am proud Patron – for the tremendous work you have done and continue to do to ensure the Seniors in your care and company remain safe and well.
I congratulate the Council on the Ageing Queensland for their willingness to adapt the Seniors Week program.
This year’s suite of virtual activities will enable Queensland Seniors to connect, share and express support regardless of the strictures of the times.
I look forward to speaking to you throughout the course of the morning. Enjoy your time at Government House. Thank you.