The Governor is invited to speak at a wide range of significant official, ceremonial and community events, including the Opening of Parliament, ANZAC Day ceremonies and events for Patron groups. A selection of these speeches is available below in a searchable database.

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 at Government House Brisbane

Afternoon Tea in Support of St Thomas’ Anglican Church, Toowong and Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Rosalie Volunteers and Clergy

Father Tom, Father Gerry (I thought of saying Fathers Tom and Gerry but thought better of it!), Kaye’s and my special invitee, Sister Angela Mary Doyle, Marist Brother Neville, ladies and gentleman.

Kaye and I acknowledge the traditional owners of the lands on which we gather, and pay our respects to their Elders and emerging leaders.  

For years and years, Kaye and I, with children, trudged into St John’s Cathedral almost every Sunday morning from Kenmore – a wonderfully uplifting service, but in view of its necessary length – with children in tow, it was good to have a break foisted upon us in 2014, though our ‘children’ were by then well and truly adults. (2014 was when Kaye and I move to Government House).

It was then, in this neighbourhood, that we re-discovered the glory of the St Thomas’ community under the leadership of Father Tom, and we have attended the Church when we can –

though our record pales by that of much-admired Governor of the 60s, Sir Henry Abel Smith, who someone recently told me attended our Bardon Anglican Church every week: maybe?

And it was then, in 2014 also, that we began our annual Easter pilgrimage to our other neighbour, Sacred Heart.

And so these two nearby congregations occupy a special part of Kaye’s and my hearts; and always will.

When we leave Fernberg in November, Kaye and I will take with us so many memories of cherished experiences involving you all: unveiling Kathy McLay’s striking sculpture of Archbishop Duhig at the centenary of the blessing of St Brigid’s in 2014; attending the cocktail party in support of the St Thomas’ parish restoration appeal in 2017 – and how inspiring the Church is looking; and hosting a morning tea for the centenary of the Sacred Heart Parish in 2018.

After that event, by the way, Father Gerry kindly indulged my personal request that Government House collect lemons from the high-yielding tree out the front of the Marist Brothers’ residence, Given Terrace on Fernberg Road – I am confident we didn’t breach Church-State separation on that occasion!

Speaking of secularity, an oddity of our role is that on Good Friday morning, this Governor and spouse even allowing for their persuasions have found themselves annually for the last 7 years, not in church, but in the middle of Moreton Bay launching, with guns, the Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race.

Sacrilegious? Probably not: I mention it only because that marks our annual encounter at Sacred Heart in the evening for the transformative Emily Cox Canticum Choir Good Friday Meditation!

It is uplifting to have members of these two congregations, so dear to us, together today, at your Government House.

Thank you, and welcome to the Governor’s Courtyard and Government House, which you are free to explore a little later on.