2022 RNA Ladies High Tea
Thank you, Camerata, for that rousing performance, you make me so proud to be your Patron.
Shadow Minister for Water and the Construction of Dams and Shadow Minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing, Mrs Deb Frecklington MP; Chair of the RNA Charity High Tea Committee, Mrs Jane Thomas; Mrs Gina Fairfax AC; supporters of the RNA; ladies, good afternoon.
I begin by acknowledging the original custodians of the lands around Brisbane, the Turrbal and Jagera people, and extend respectful greetings to Elders, past, present and emerging.
I am delighted to join you all, at this afternoon’s special ladies high tea, to raise funds for children living in remote and rural Queensland.
As Governor of Queensland, and Patron of the RNA, I am proud to support initiatives that strengthen the links between city and country, and remind us that the fortunes of farming families have a direct impact on the lives of all Queenslanders.
The Ekka, which opens on Saturday, has the extraordinary ability to unite us all. It is an event that brings tremendous joy, but which also highlights the diversity and significance of Queensland’s agricultural sector.
These past few years have been particularly difficult for those on the land, with the detrimental effects of drought still affecting almost 45% of the State, and devastating floods causing yet more heartbreak.
These challenges have been compounded by COVID-19, which has derailed this fund-raising event for the past two years.
We know that these challenges have a significant influence on the mental health of our young, vulnerable people.
I am therefore so pleased that this year the RNA Foundation is focusing on supporting Outback Futures and their mission to improve mental health and wellbeing outcomes for all in the bush, but especially for our outback kids and teens.
This is an issue close to my heart, as is ensuring all children in this State are given the benefits of an equal education, which I believe shapes all aspects of life, including health.
I am so pleased that since this ‘high tea’ began in 2015, it has raised almost $190,000 to help young people in tangible, practical ways, improving access to vital learning resources and forging stronger connections across distances.
Queenslanders living in rural areas are fiercely passionate about the places they call home, and the welcoming hand of friendship appears to be part of their DNA.
When I moved to Rockhampton with my young daughter as a single mother, I experienced this support first-hand—the local community made every effort to support us when we really needed it.
Today, it is our turn to offer our assistance and thank regional Queenslanders for all they do for us.
It is truly uplifting to see so many women united by a common purpose. Thank you for attending today and demonstrating that while the ties between city and country may be precious, they are far from fragile.
I am also deeply grateful to the RNA for organising this superb event.