Afternoon Tea Celebrating a Centenary of the Queensland Country Women’s Association
Queensland Country Women's Association State President, Mrs Sheila Campbell and members of the State Executive Board; distinguished guests; 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.
Graeme and I thank you all for being here today, a week later than we had originally planned to accommodate a period of mourning for our beloved late Sovereign, Queen Elizabeth the Second.
During this time, we have been deeply moved by the many messages of condolence, and gestures of respect and affection for The Queen received at Government House.
The impact of her 70-year reign on the lives of so many Queenslanders, young and long-lived, was clear to see among the sea of bouquets and written notes that adorned The Queen’s statue here on our grounds.
For all of this time, and in fact longer, the Queensland Country Women’s Association has likewise played a momentously important role in the lives of so many Queenslanders.
As your Patron, I am so pleased to join you on this lovely occasion, as you celebrate 100 years of service to local communities throughout our wonderful State.
In 2022, the QCWA is as much a part of the fabric of local life in rural and regional Queensland as it was in 1922.
Founder Ruth Fairfax OBE, another inspirational leader who dedicated her life to service and the community, understood the unique challenges of life in Queensland, and particularly those faced by rural and regional women.
We owe her a debt of gratitude for the work she did in establishing this fine organisation, which seeks to strengthen communities by helping whomever among us needs help.
And it is a credit to each and every one of you that the QCWA continues her essential work, be it supporting families to adopt healthier lifestyle behaviours through your Country Kitchens program; helping students to continue their education and training; partnering with advocacy groups to address the scourge of domestic violence; or raising funds for recovery from natural disasters, the likes of which we’ve seen all too regularly in recent times.
It is in tribute to you, that we are serving two sweet items at this afternoon’s Reception inspired by the recipes of QCWA members – namely Shirley Platz of the Middle Ridge Branch and Angela Stephenson of the Howard Branch.
They are a blueberry, sour cream and coconut slice; and mango, pineapple and banana bread; and I’m sure they will be as delicious as they sound!
I’d also like to note that this is the first event where we will be serving the Governor’s blend of tea – 50 percent of which is from the Daintree and 50 percent the Atherton Tablelands.
This will complement the Governor’s blend of coffee, crafted especially for service here at Government House by Brisbane-based company The Coffee Roaster using 40 percent beans grown by Queensland company Dimbulah – all part of our commitment to supporting local producers, with 95 per cent of our menus at Government House now featuring locally sourced Queensland produce.
In closing, I’d like to acknowledge the QCWA’s invaluable work in bringing communities together, uniting them in common causes, offering them comfort in times of sorrow and sharing in their success – all the while helping them to help themselves.
And as I look to the future in service of our new Sovereign, His Majesty King Charles the Third, I am sure you, too, are looking to the next hundred years of service to your treasured communities.