YMCA Youth Parliament Closing Ceremony
Minister Scanlon; Member for Bonney; Dr Goodall and YMCA representatives; Youth Governor; Youth Members and all supporters of the YMCA Queensland Youth Parliament.
I too acknowledge the traditional owners of these lands, and extend respectful greetings to Elders and emerging leaders.
Over the past 18 months, the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us all many lessons, not the least of which is to always have a Plan B!
I was therefore very pleased when my Youth Parliament counterpart, Benjamin Crowley, suggested that, instead of hosting a reception at Government House as Kaye and I have done in the past, I should join you here at Parliament House for today’s Closing Ceremony.
This ceremony is a rite of passage, marking the culmination of the many months you have dedicated to your electorates as Youth Members.
Through discussion and debate, numerous meetings and community consultations – and the occasional ‘banana dance’ – I know you will all have gained a better understanding of bill writing, parliamentary debate, and the legislative process, including that vitally important step of granting Royal Assent, which we just witnessed.
But I know you will also have discovered a great deal about your communities. That sense of discovery is something I have experienced repeatedly over the past seven and a half years as I have travelled widely in our State to meet and listen to Queenslanders.
When I was sworn in as Queensland’s 26th Governor, I made a pledge to seek to support and encourage all Queenslanders, and to do all I could, in humility and a spirit of service, to uphold and promote the advancement of our State.
That pledge has guided me in undertaking my constitutional, ceremonial and civic duties, and remains the essence of the role of Governor.
My term of office has seen three State elections, two premiers, a major constitutional amendment and one official Vice-Regal Dog, named Gavel – who features regularly on my official social media pages, by the way!
My responsibility throughout these changes has been to inspire confidence in our democratic system and ensure stable government.
The YMCA Youth Parliament plays a vital part in ensuring that, each year, a new group of outstanding young Queenslanders reaches a thorough understanding of our democratic system.
To further your understanding of our democratic system, I have a special gift for everyone here today – a copy of the latest Government House publication, ‘The Governors of Modern Queensland’.
I thank the State Council of YMCAs of Queensland for their dedicated commitment to this program, and the Queensland Government and Members and staff of the Queensland Parliament for their ongoing support.
I also congratulate and thank the Youth Members of the 26th Youth Parliament, as well as the former program participants who have acted as your Executive and guides through this experience.
You are the voice of youth and I am confident that the future of our precious democratic system is safe in your competent and passionate young hands.
Congratulations and thank you all for your warm welcome. I now look forward to presenting the Daniel Cheverton Award for Best Orator.