Australia Day Flag Raising Ceremony - Townsville
Premier of Queensland and Minister for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk MP; Australian Defence Force personnel; Townsville City Council Mayor, Councillor Jenny Hill, CEO, Dr Prins Ralston, Councillors and staff; distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.
I extend my appreciation to Warrant Officer Class Two, Uncle David Boye and Mr Francis Tapim for sharing their wisdom with us as part of today’s special Australia Day Flag Raising ceremony.
I too, would like to acknowledge the original custodians of the lands on which we gather, the Bindal and Wulgurukaba People, and pay my respects to Elders past, present and emerging, and to any First Nations people here today.
This important event happily brings Graeme and I to Townsville for the fourth time since I was sworn in as Governor of Queensland. I am honoured to be here, and proud to see our Australian Defence Forces represented so impressively by the 3rd Battalion’s Royal Guard of Honour, the Band of the 1st Battalion, and the 4th Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery.
Shortly, the Australian National Flag and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags will be raised.
These flags are powerful symbols, not only of who we are today, but also of our past, and of our shared hopes and future together.
They are a reminder that we are a nation made strong by the experiences and contributions of each one of us.
Ours is a rich history stretching back over 65,000 years, and continued today through the valuable influence and contributions of our First Nations people.
The flags also present the unification of our individual efforts – Queenslanders standing and growing together, respectful of any differing viewpoints.
Flags are subject to fair winds and foul, as are communities - and you’ve had plenty of the latter in this part of Queensland in recent weeks.
At least we now know that in times of struggle or adversity, the courage and compassion for which Queenslanders are renowned comes to the fore, and our support for each other pays off.
More broadly, every one of us has a part to play in our national story.
Today, gives us the opportunity to reflect on what it means to be Australian, a chance to acknowledge our achievements, and to celebrate - with deep and enduring gratitude - the beautiful place we call home.
I know that throughout Queensland and across the country, communities, families and friends will be marking this day in their own unique ways - and that is exactly as it should be.
So, I thank each of you for your involvement in today’s Flag Raising Ceremony, and for your individual contributions to the wellbeing and vibrancy of your community and nation.
I particularly acknowledge those local heroes who are this year’s recipients of the Townsville Australia Day Awards and whose efforts help to make this city and this State even more incredible.
I am also very much looking forward to welcoming, with the Premier and Mayor, our newest Australian citizens, in a special ceremony following this one.
I join all Queenslanders in looking forward to the year ahead with confidence and optimism. Thank you.