Afternoon Tea in support of World Down Syndrome Day
Shadow Minister for Seniors, Communities and Disability Services, Shadow Minister for Multiculturalism and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships and Member for Surfers Paradise, Mr John-Paul Langbroek MP; Shadow Attorney-General; Shadow Minister for Justice, Shadow Minister for CBD Activation and Member for Clayfield, Mr Tim Nicholls MP; Member for Lytton Ms Joan Pease; Member for Stafford Mr Jimmy Sullivan; Down Syndrome Queensland Chair, Mr David Fuller and CEO Mrs Chris McMillan; 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 respects to Elders, past, present and emerging, and to any First Nations people here today.
It is a pleasure for Graeme and me to welcome you to Government House for this afternoon tea in support of World Down Syndrome Day. We acknowledge the importance of this annual global awareness celebration, that highlights the remarkable achievements and contributions of those with Down Syndrome.
This is my second year being part of this special event, and as Patron of Down Syndrome Queensland, I support the 2023 campaign’s concept of “With us, not for us”.
This human rights-based approach to disability highlights the importance of a connected community treating people fairly and equitably, so they can access the same opportunities.
It is an inherent right that all people are accepted, and included, as valued and equal members of society. An active role in community life, a good education and meaningful and valued employment opportunities, are goals that people with Down Syndrome are of course very much entitled to.
Fortunately, the life expectancy of people with Down Syndrome has dramatically increased over the past 50 years. People with Down Syndrome are now living longer and healthier lives than they have in the past.
Health equity is a crucial concept, that enables everyone to have a fair and just opportunity to attain their highest level of health and wellbeing.
On behalf of all Queenslanders, I thank Down Syndrome Queensland’s Board, management and staff for their genuinely tireless work in promoting the importance of inclusivity and empowering people of all abilities to lead healthy and fulfilling lives.
We also pay tribute to the loyal donors, supporters and volunteers, together with the dedicated founding members, who fortify the strength of this organisation.
It is important that together our global voice advocates for the rights, inclusion and wellbeing of all people with Down Syndrome.
Thank you for attending this celebratory afternoon tea reception and I hope you enjoy the warm hospitality of Government House – which has an extra special touch today, because we are serving the Down Syndrome Queensland brew – a special blend inspired by perfection through inclusion, reminding us of the importance of the inclusion of everyone to make a perfect world. So do make sure you enjoy a cuppa!
You make me extremely proud to be your Patron.