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 Government House Brisbane

Afternoon Reception to Launch the Government House Publication, The Governors of Modern Queensland

Chief Justice; former Queensland Governors, Leneen Forde, Major-General Peter Arnison, and Dame Quentin Bryce; former Premiers, Mr Rob Borbidge and Mr Campbell Newman; Your Honours; representing the Lord Mayor, Cr Matic; former Member of the Executive Council, Mr Paul Lucas; military leaders; Chancellor; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen; girls and boys.

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

Today’s launch of The Governors of Modern Queensland is a proud moment for Government House. 

At the outset, I acknowledge and thank the authors (David Fagan and Madonna King), the University of Queensland Press, and the many Queenslanders – more than 80 of them, of all ranks and backgrounds, lots of them here tonight – who have contributed the memories, experiences, reflections and professional guidance that have made this book possible.

(For those who were interviewed, there is a handy index at the back of the book – there is no protocol which forbids you from heading straight to that!) 

I particularly acknowledge the generous contributions of my four predecessor Governors: Leneen Forde, Major-General Peter Arnison, Dame Quentin Bryce, and Penelope Wensley.

The five of us together constitute a unique cohort – the Queensland Governors appointed since the Australia Acts came into force 35 years ago this month.

The Australia Acts may be rarely known beyond the constitutional law fraternity, but they are important to all Queenslanders because these Acts marked the commencement, in a vice-regal sense, of ‘modern’ Queensland and, incidentally, gave us the title for the book.

Unlike the 21 vice-regal representatives who served before 1986, Governors since that date have been appointed by Her Majesty The Queen on the recommendation of the Queensland Premier of the day – and two of the Premiers who made a Governor recommendation to The Queen, since 1986, are here today. 

This epithet of ‘modern Queensland’ is more than a fine legal distinction; it has meaning in the everyday life of Queensland because it reinforces and underpins the pre-eminent constitutional responsibilities of the Governor.

Here at Government House, we often speak of ‘the Governor’s three Cs’ – the constitutional, community, and ceremonial duties of the role.

By exploring all three aspects, David and Madonna – with the support of UQP, especially Madonna Duffy and Jacqueline Blanchard – have captured the very essence of the Governor’s role in modern Queensland, and a little of the contemporary spirit of Queenslanders.

Importantly, the book also gives appropriate recognition to the role of the Governors’ spouses in discharging the ‘three Cs’. 

I hope readers find the publication informative and accessible – a “ripper read” was how Rebecca Levingston described the book when she interviewed me on ABC Brisbane this morning!

I further hope readers agree it makes an important contribution to public understanding of the role of State Governors.

It is a tribute to the legendary spirit of all Queenslanders that the publication has been brought to fruition despite COVID-19 limitations.

Kaye and I look forward immensely to seeing the book rolled out into libraries across the State, and made available for purchase to all Queenslanders.

It now gives me great pleasure to officially launch, ‘The Governors of Modern Queensland’. Thank you.