Afternoon Reception in Support of Foodbank Queensland
Minister Farmer; Senator Stoker; Member for Southport; Foodbank Chairman, Mr Robert Newey and CEO, Ms Sara Harrup; distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.
I at once acknowledge the traditional owners of these lands, and extend respectful greetings to Elders and emerging leaders.
Kaye and I are delighted to welcome you all to Government House.
It is our very great pleasure to host this reception in support of Foodbank Queensland.
Since 2019, Government House has been working on a special project which came to fruition earlier this year – a book entitled “The Governors of Modern Queensland”, reflecting on the history of the five most recent Governors of Queensland all appointed since the Australia Acts of 1986.
The team dedicated to this book, authored by David Fagan and Madonna King, undertook an enormous amount of research and conducted countless interviews.
I was very pleased that Foodbank Queensland – through Director, David Muir – was one the few patronage organisations selected for inclusion.
The wonderful by-product of such in-depth research is of course the rich stories and anecdotes which have come to light.
The Foodbank reference is from when the organisation was in its early stages here in Queensland. David Muir, along with Ian Brusasco and former Lord Mayor Clem Jones, decided that then Governor, Dame Quentin Bryce would make a good Patron for the organisation.
That – believe it or not – was 15 years ago!
Speaking on behalf of the now three Governor-Patrons, I do think the association between Government House and Foodbank Queensland has been rather remarkable…and as an expression of that special relationship, I am very pleased to confirm you will all leave this evening with a copy of ‘The Governors of Modern Queensland’.
In my term, I have seen first-hand the incredible impact of Foodbank across Queensland.
One of the many things I have learned in my years as Governor, is that there are a great number of organisations capable of changing the lives of everyday Queenslanders.
By providing hunger relief to 200,000 Queenslanders each month, Foodbank is certainly one such organisation.
Growing from a small operation in November 1995, handing out what food was donated, Foodbank is now the state’s largest hunger relief organisation and last year, sourced and distributed a record 25 million meals across the State.
I congratulate Foodbank Queensland’s remarkable staff, donors, supporters and volunteers.
Without judgement, you assuredly fulfil the great need for your services.
On behalf of all Queenslanders, I thank you all for your important work.
Finally, may I add how saddened we were to learn of the passing of the Duke of Edinburgh on Friday.
His life was a model of selfless devotion to duty, a shining example to us all.
He, of all people, would have warmly encouraged the work of your amazing organisation, a great example of really practical altruism. He would congratulate your inspired founders and continuing directors and thank your donors and volunteers for their conspicuous compassion.