Ballet International Gala Morning Tea
Member for Caloundra, Mr Jason Hunt MP; Ballet International Gala Directors, Mr Khalid Tarabay, Mr Beck Phillips and Mr Joel Burke; other distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen.
I begin by acknowledging the traditional custodians of the lands around Brisbane, the Turrbal and Jagera peoples, and extend respectful greetings to Elders, past, present and emerging.
Graeme and I are delighted to welcome you all to Government House this morning, for this special morning tea in support of the Ballet International Gala.
I was deeply honoured, back in November, that one of my very first acts as Governor was to attend the Gala’s official launch at Hanworth House.
That was a most memorable experience for Graeme and me, partly because of the wonderful hospitality of Marisa and her team, but also because of the inspirational vision of the Ballet International Gala founders.
Not everyone knows this, but when I was a child – many decades ago now – I dreamed of becoming a ballerina.
I was a dedicated student and spent many gruelling mornings and evening refining my technique and repertoire.
But when I was a teenager, my father was kind enough to give me what I now recognise to have been some pretty sage advice: perhaps I should have a back-up plan!
And that led me down the path of medicine.
But I never lost my passion for ballet, and when Graeme and I took our seats and the curtains rose on the Ballet International Gala in the Playhouse Theatre on Australia Day, I was immediately reminded why!
The dancers, the music, the costumes, the dazzling technique and sheer athletic brilliance of the performances – all combined to thrill audiences at a time when we needed reminding more than ever of the importance of dreaming big.
I once again thank and congratulate Khalid, Beck and Joel for their vision and determination in bringing the Ballet International Gala to the stage in Brisbane and on the Sunshine Coast.
That they had so much support – from sponsors, venues, mentors, businesses and philanthropic individuals – says something really special and positive about the arts community in Queensland.
And so I also thank each and every one of you here today, for the encouraging roles you have played.
The combined efforts of everyone in this room makes Graeme and me so exceptionally proud to be living in Queensland, and to be supporting you all today.
Thank you, and enjoy this wonderful occasion in wonderful company.