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 Government House Brisbane

Surf Life Saving Queensland Launch of ‘SOS Week’

Mr President; CEO; Madam Consul-General; Commissioner; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen; girls and boys.

I too acknowledge the traditional owners of these lands, and express respectful greetings to Elders and emerging leaders.  

It is a great honour, as Governor and Surf Life Saving Queensland Patron, to join you all tonight.

As Mr Welsh mentioned, the last time we saw this much ‘red and yellow’ on the Brisbane River was in January 2011. 

Back then, this very spot was many feet underwater, and a large chunk of the Drift Restaurant was careering down the River from Milton towards Moreton Bay.  

But as the River roared, red and yellow clad life savers were crouched low in inflatable dinghies, whizzing about flooded suburbs evacuating flood-stricken residents.

Their mission was to patrol flooded streets, not beaches.

But that powerful imagery served only to reinforce in the minds of Queenslanders what they long appreciated about this uplifting institution: its unwavering commitment to serving our State.   

It was no surprise that later that year, in October 2011, Surf Life Saving Queensland was one of the few organisations chosen to attend a luncheon in the presence of Her Majesty The Queen, whom as Governor I am so honoured to represent, and whose presence lifted spirits following a summer of disasters. 

The attendance of surf life saver, Miss Kaitlyn Akers, at that event, a mere few hundred metres from where we tonight gather, was a proud moment for Surf Life Saving Queensland.

It was fitting recognition for an organisation which has done so much to enhance the wellbeing of Queenslanders since it was formed in 1930 with Governor Sir John Goodwin as its inaugural Patron.

For there is something quite remarkable about Surf Life Saving Queensland. 

We all know of its iconic red and yellow flags as symbols of safety and reassurance.  

But the movement itself – now embracing more than 30,000 members in nearly 60 clubs from Cairns to Coolangatta – says something deeper about us a Queensland people. 

It speaks to our enduring values of fairness and of supporting one another. 

It translates the generosity of our spirit, and lust for fun and friendship, into saving lives on our beaches.

That is most worthy of community acknowledgement and celebration.

As with so many things in this remarkable year, the format of this year’s Surf Life Saving Queensland appeal has evolved to suit the restrictions of the times.

This year there will be a little less shaking of tins, and a lot more frenzied clicking of mouses.

But I have every confidence that Queenslanders will continue to give generously to an organisation which so generously supports them. 

In that spirit of appreciation and recognition, it is now my great honour to launch the 2020 Surf Life Saving Queensland ‘Support our Savers’ Appeal. I wish it every success.