Reception in support of International Women’s Day
Premier; Chief Justice; Members of the Executive Council of Queensland – I am told all female Executive Council members are here this afternoon, welcome Ministers; Queensland’s 22nd Governor, Leneen Forde – who revealed this morning on radio, by the way, that she hosted the first International Women’s Day reception at Government House, 28 years ago!; Your Honours; Members of Parliament; Lady Mayoress; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen.
I at once acknowledge the traditional owners of the lands on which we gather, and extend respectful greetings to Elders and emerging leaders.
In doing so, I acknowledge the important role Indigenous women continue to play across Queensland, especially in our rural, regional and remote communities.
Kaye and I are delighted to welcome you all our ‘garden party’ this afternoon, as we once again celebrate International Women’s Day.
Every year, it is inspiring to see this gathering of Queensland women – and a few men! – who are at the forefront of advancement in our State.
You are all here, because your achievements and contributions serve as role models for both men and women in our community.
Can I say how especially pleased Kaye and I are that so many girls and young women leaders from our schools, Girl Guides and the Girls’ Brigade are here today.
This year’s theme from the United Nations is “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world”.
How particularly fitting this theme is for us here in Queensland.
This year, we have a very contemporary opportunity to celebrate the role that women in leadership have played in overcoming recent adversities.
Central to Queensland’s COVID-19 response have been many women who have confronted the challenges of the disease in a highly public way.
I know they would want me to also acknowledge the countless other women, and men, from medical specialists to business leaders and frontline workers, who have worked so feverishly behind the scenes to ensure the safety of Queenslanders during this time.
However, it is appropriate, on this International Women’s Day, 2021, to acknowledge their leadership, and offer to them the gratitude of the Queensland people for their dedicated service.
Their prominent efforts have painted a new picture for our younger generations, including those students here tonight, of what leadership “looks” like, in a global crisis.
Although International Women’s Day is an annual event, this year’s celebration is somewhat unusual in that it also coincides with another day of community significance here in Australia, Commonwealth Day.
Earlier today, Kaye and I attended the Commonwealth Day Multi-Faith event at St John’s Cathedral.
It was a most memorable service, replete with immersive performances from students which vividly brought to life the full diversity of the Commonwealth. What a credit those young people are to our State!
And so, on this day of dual recognition of remarkable contributions, and as Governor of Queensland, I also once again publicly acknowledge the gracious service, dedication and leadership of Her Majesty The Queen as Head of the Commonwealth and Queen of Australia.
Thank you all once again for your attendance here this afternoon.
As we take the time to reflect today on remarkable women in our lives, and to acknowledge progress gained, we should also look forward, with a sense of optimism, for our State.
You are all wonderful exemplars of that most crucial stipulation, that we must all progress, together. Thank you.