Royal Brisbane Women’s Hospital Foundation 35th Anniversary Afternoon Reception
Deputy Board Chair, Mr Nino Di Marco and fellow Board Members; Chief Executive Officer, Ms Simone Garske; 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 to Fernberg this afternoon to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Royal Brisbane Women’s Hospital Foundation, and to thank those who have contributed to its wonderful record of success.
This great Queensland institution has built a truly phenomenal record and reputation since 1985, earning the respect and support of all Queenslanders for its tireless fundraising and advocacy.
The 50 million dollars raised in those 35 years has enabled the Foundation to support the work of some of Australia’s (indeed the world’s) best clinical researchers – more than 500 of them, in fact.
Those researchers, together with dedicated practitioners, have not only produced important, tangible results in research, education and patient care; they have given something far more precious to countless patients, their families and the community at large: hope.
Hope was certainly at the core of the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital response to COVID-19.
Within days of the virus arriving in Australia, the Foundation had sprung into action, setting up the Coronavirus Action Fund.
The initial donation from Mr Luca Fu sparked a response from other donors that resulted in the most successful fundraising campaign in the Foundation’s history, raising more than $5.8 million to find and test COVID-19 treatments.
On behalf of all Queenslanders, I congratulate everyone concerned on this exceptional outcome and thank the generous donors who made it possible.
As my seven years as Governor of Queensland will soon come to an end, I take this opportunity to wish the Foundation well in its ongoing efforts to ensure that the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital remains one of the Top 100 hospitals in the world, and one of the best, brightest and kindest.
Now I personally have a long-standing association with the Hospital you all so proudly support.
The grand façade of the old Royal Women’s Hospital is still evocative for me.
I distinctly remember entering it as a child, to visit family members with ailments of diminishing years.
I was very honoured a few years ago when the RBWH Foundation presented me with a portion of the maple railing from that building when it was demolished – the railing is this afternoon on the piano lid!
To recognise these special links, and Kaye’s and my deep appreciation for your contributions to our State, you will all leave tonight with a copy of a new book on Queensland Governors I launched last month, ‘The Governors of Modern Queensland’.
If you turn to page 124, you will see the Foundation gets a mention!
What remarkable work you do, for the betterment and contentment of us all. Enjoy this very special occasion, as Kaye and I acknowledge remarkable Queenslanders.