Official Launch of the Queensland Corrections Senior Officers’ Mess
Queensland Corrective Services, Commissioner Peter Martin APM; President, Queensland Corrections Senior Officers’ Mess, Superintendent Mark Plath; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen.
I at once acknowledge the traditional owners of these lands and extend respectful greetings to Elders and emerging leaders.
It is a great pleasure to welcome you all to Government House on this important day for Queensland Corrective Services.
The QCS is, by its very nature, an organisation that supports the safety and security of Queensland communities. And it takes little reflection to realise that the work undertaken by QCS personnel can be highly challenging on a both personal and professional level.
As a former chief justice, I am very much aware of the essential and quietly professional role of the QCS in transporting prisoners to and from court, in supervising prisoners in court, and of course in the complex, multi-faceted task of managing prisoners serving custodial sentences.
In that respect, it has been pleasing to see the work of QCS personnel becoming more widely acknowledged in recent times, not only through today’s event, but also through Australian Honours and Awards.
Indeed, I have had the pleasure of presenting nine Australian Corrections Medals here at Government House since the award was inaugurated in 2017 – I award three more ACMs over the coming two weeks, while Assistant Commissioner Peter Shaddock will receive his Public Service Medal.
In addition, as Governor I have found opportunities to thank personnel working for or on behalf of the QCS through visits to the Southern Queensland Correctional Centre near Gatton and the Lotus Glen Correctional Centre in Mareeba.
I was therefore highly supportive of the Commissioner’s request for me to launch this latest initiative – the establishment of a Queensland Corrections Senior Officers’ Mess.
It is a wonderful example, Commissioner, of your vision to elevate public awareness of the important work of Corrective Services officers – a vision you have assuredly fulfilled. We wish you well in retirement.
Now ‘Mess’ may seem an odd word in this context of service.
However, the centuries-old original meaning was to put a course of food on a table, and this later came to mean the people eating the food together.
This, in turn suggests a closely-knit group and that is indeed the idea of the Senior Officers’ Mess – to provide regular opportunities every year for senior QCS personnel to get together, encouraging closer interconnections across senior echelons of the organisation, reinforcing QCS values, and further strengthening the QCS esprit-de-corps.
These are admirable goals aimed squarely at benefitting the operations and management of the QCS and, ultimately, enhancing the work of the organisation in protecting the safety of Queenslanders.
It is with that positive and forward-looking thought in mind, and with great pleasure, that I now officially launch the Queensland Corrections Senior Officers’ Mess and wish the Mess and the QCS every success in the future.