Speeches

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 QAGOMA Brisbane

QAGOMA Foundation viewing of European Masters from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Foundation President, Mr Tim Fairfax and fellow Committee Members; Chair of the Queensland Art Gallery Board of Trustees, Emeritus Professor Ian O’Connor and fellow Trustees; QAGOMA Director, Mr Chris Saines; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen.

I at once acknowledge the traditional owners of these lands and express respectful greetings to the Turrbal and Jagera Elders and emerging leaders. 

One of the undoubted pleasures and privileges of my seven years as the vice-regal Patron of the QAGOMA Foundation has been the opportunity to attend events such as this.

My very first official engagement as Patron of the Foundation was in October 2015 when I attended the Foundation’s annual dinner.

Since then, thanks to fortuitous timing, I have had the honour of viewing both the eighth and ninth Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art exhibitions, as well as the pleasure of joining the Foundation to celebrate Tim and Gina Fairfax’s ‘Gift’ to us all through the ‘World View’ exhibition, the Gallery’s fortieth anniversary in 2019 and QAGOMA’s tenth birthday five years ago.

While all of these events have earned their place in our Gallery’s remarkable history, this exhibition of European masterpieces from New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art is truly a “milestone”.

Now, I am sorry, that is not the right word! Securing this exhibition is nothing short of a stupendous, stunning achievement, a coup; and I know it will not be repeated in my lifetime. What an amazing success for the Gallery, the Foundation, for all Queenslanders! We may not have done so well recently in Townsville, but we have triumphed at South Brisbane!

This exquisite exhibition is proudly exclusive to Brisbane and offers visitors a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience works from one of the finest collections of European painting in the world.

Beginning with Fra Angelico’s fifteenth century call to our common humanity in his depiction of Christ’s crucifixion, and ending with Monet’s exquisite Water Lilies, this exhibition of 65 paintings represents the story of five hundred years of European painting.

Such a feast for the mind and the eye would be indigestible were it not for the care with which the exhibition has been structured and curated, to enable the viewer to savour the works in three distinct parts ranging from devotion in the Middle Ages to Art for the People in the twentieth century.

One of the privileges of my position as Governor is to speak for all Queenslanders, and as such it gives me enormous pride and pleasure, on their behalf, to congratulate and thank Foundation president, Tim Fairfax, and his Committee; Chris Saines as Gallery Director; as well as the army of staff and volunteers, with Federal and State Government assistance, who have worked tirelessly to bring this remarkable exhibition to Queensland. It is quite simply superb.

The last thing you say in remarks like these is sometimes dismissed as an afterthought. But I have deliberately reserved my ending for tonight to emphasise the significance and sincerity of the sentiment, and that is to thank the Foundation’s generous donors here tonight, people whose generosity and public spiritedness give our Gallery such vibrant, glittering uplift. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.