Afternoon Tea in Support of Autism Queensland on International Day of People with Disability
Autism Queensland Chair, Mr Neil Makepeace and members of the Board; Chief Executive Officer, Ms Pam Macrossan; staff; award recipients; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen.
I begin by acknowledging the original custodians of the lands around Brisbane, the Turrbal and Jagera people, and pay my respect to Elders, past, present, and emerging. I extend that respect to any First Nations people here with us today.
Welcome! Graeme and I are thrilled that you can be here with us today, in support of Autism Queensland and ahead of tomorrow, the International Day of People with Disability.
The International Day of People with Disability has a simple, yet far-reaching goal to increase public awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with disability.
The theme for 2022 is 'Transformative solutions for inclusive development: the role of innovation in fuelling an accessible and equitable world’.
It’s a theme that I believe aligns well with wonderful services Autism Queensland delivers day in and day out, as an organisation that prides itself on transforming futures for people of all ages on the autistic spectrum, to encourage lives of participation, opportunity and choice.
With centre locations from Cairns to the Gold Coast and services for young children through to adulthood you help to tear down barriers for those individuals with autism, so they may realise their full potential.
You work towards this goal every day and as Governor and Patron of Autism Queensland, I commend your spirit, commitment and determination.
Now, this afternoon also has another special and exciting aspect, as I look forward to shortly presenting the Annual Creative Futures Recognition Awards to some deserving recipients.
These awards recognise the outstanding achievements of individuals on the autism spectrum, and the many who support them and their families – from professionals and volunteers, to schools, community organisations and businesses.
Such recognition is so important, not only for the awardees but also for their communities. I am told that most nominations are received from the public and this year saw almost 100 nominations!
These awards, and the many award nominations, show not only the good work that is being done – but that the good work is being seen.
To those receiving trophies and certificates shortly, I offer my deepest congratulations. Your achievements are inspirational, and the effects are far-reaching, and transformative.
On behalf of Queenslanders, I commend the Board, staff, and generous volunteers of Autism Queensland, for demonstrating true commitment and vision, and for taking the lead into the future.
Through your accomplishments, you are helping to fulfil the goals of the International Day of People with Disability and of Autism Queensland.