Afternoon Tea for the Care Army Queensland
Kaye and I warmly welcome you all to Government House. We are delighted that Minister O’Rourke, representing the Premier, could be here for this most special occasion, as our community acknowledges the tremendous efforts of the Queensland Care Army, and we welcome your Director-General.
I at once acknowledge the traditional owners of the lands on which we gather, extending respectful greetings to Elders and emerging leaders.
The Queensland Care Army, by its very name, represents a united front of committed organisations and individuals making a positive difference to the lives of others.
Whenever I meet people from diverse communities around the State, I am struck by a deep and humbling sense of pride in our State, and belief in our people.
Our natural inclination as Queenslanders is to help one another, whether in response to a major devastating event – such as a pandemic – a local community challenge, or even an instance of one individual saving the life of another.
I was therefore delighted – but not at all surprised – to learn a staggering 25,000 people had registered to be part of the Care Army in the first fortnight after it was launched in April by the Premier – many volunteers spurred into action, no doubt, by the powerful legacy of the 2011 Mud Army.
Now 28,000-strong, the Care Army is comprised of wonderfully compassionate Queenslanders, of all ages, and, remarkably, from every Council area around the State.
As for those much-maligned Millennials, almost one quarter of registered Care Army volunteers are aged under 34!
The Care Army is startling really for the simplicity of its mission: to provide practical care and lend a helping hand during this pandemic, especially for those most at risk, the elderly and Indigenous Queenslanders.
We were graphically reminded of the Army’s life-saving benefits mere weeks after its formation, when a concerned Care Army Volunteer, Paul Mahoney, contacted the Police about the welfare of a Beaudesert resident. What a remarkable, worthwhile initiative this was.
Kaye and I are delighted to have so many Care Army volunteers here today.
You have all demonstrated conspicuous compassion and encouragement, when our State is most in need. From the bottom of our hearts, Kaye and I congratulate and thank you all.
We further acknowledge the extraordinary efforts of Volunteering Queensland (of which I am proud Patron) and the Queensland Government, who have met the enormous logistical challenges of this ambitious project.
Thank you for your incredible efforts.
As we confront, together, the challenges and constrictions of this once in a century pandemic, I know that the Care Army will continue to fight this threat with diligence and generosity, as we look towards recovery.
On behalf of all Queenslanders, Kaye and I again offer you our deepest thanks. Please look after yourselves as you continue to look after others.