Qantas Founders Museum Official Opening of the New Airpark Roof and Luminescent Longreach Light Show
Minister Hinchliffe; Mayor, Cr Tony Rayner; Qantas Founders Museum Chairman, Mr John Vincent and CEO, Cr Tony Martin; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen; girls and boys.
I at once acknowledge the traditional owners of these lands, extending respectful greetings to Elders and emerging leaders.
Kaye and I are delighted to be back in wonderful Longreach, at this magnificent Red and White Gala to celebrate the centenary of Qantas, to acknowledge this impressively conceived Qantas Founders Museum, and to open its magnificent new Airpark Roof and Luminescent Longreach attraction.
As this is our fifth official vice-regal visit to Longreach, some of you may already know that this region holds special meaning for me, because I lived here when I was a child.
What struck me then, as now, is the enterprising spirit of people who call the Outback home – reflected in enduring pride, optimism, and a genuine desire to help others.
This unique spirit propelled the successful growth of Australia’s largest airline from its mail-service roots. It also drove the initial construction and the continual development of this tremendous Museum, which does so much to tell Queensland’s part in the Qantas story.
The result of this diligent determination is the remarkable new 8,000 square metre Airpark Roof, under which we gather proudly this evening, in resplendent red and white.
Not only does this roof make the visitor experience more comfortable, but it also ensures that this fine collection of historically important aircraft and ephemera remains preserved for future generations to enjoy.
Later this evening, we will also experience the new Luminescent Longreach sound and light show, which I know will be a stunning sensory treat.
The aircraft here provide an utterly unique canvas for the projections, which I believe took an incredible 11,000 hours to create, and another 2,000 hours to install.
One of the image sequences beaming onto the Boeing 747’s fuselage, is Wunala Dreaming from the Balarinji studio – flying art familiar to us all – because after the first Qantas plane flew the design in 1994, it became the world’s most photographed aircraft.
Mr Chairman, I am now happy to lend my official Instagram profile to the cause of making this the most ‘Instagrammed’ plane design in history!
The stories of both Qantas and the Qantas Founders Museum reflect what can be achieved from modest beginnings, when passion, innovation and collective enthusiasm drive enterprise.
This is especially vital when “clear-air turbulence” strikes – most recently in the form of COVID-19.
I congratulate the Board, CEO and all staff of the Qantas Founders Museum, who have worked tirelessly – with the generous support of both Federal and State Governments, donors and volunteers – to make these projects – the Airpark Roof and the Light Show – a reality, despite the impacts of drought and the pandemic.
And I wholeheartedly thank all who live in this special place, for demonstrating the true value of community.
It is now my great honour to declare officially open the Qantas Founders Museum Airpark Roof.