Autism Queensland Creative Futures Recognition Awards
Member for Stretton, Mr James Martin; Autism Queensland Chair, Ms Joanne Peulen; CEO, Ms Pam Macrossan; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen; girls and boys.
I acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands around Brisbane, the Turrbal and Jagera peoples, and extend greetings to Elders, past, present and emerging.
I am delighted to continue the long tradition of vice-regal support, and to welcome Autism Queensland friends and supporters to Government House this afternoon.
As your new Patron, I am very much looking forward to presenting today’s Creative Futures Recognition Awards which honour remarkable Queenslanders who are making a real difference to the wellbeing of others.
Recognition is an important way of showing that these contributions are valued, not just to people directly impacted by Autism Spectrum Disorder, but by the wider community.
In an increasingly complex world, we really need fearless people—like all of you here today—who are prepared to shine a light on the somewhat unclear path ahead, providing encouragement, and promoting inclusion.
This year’s International Day of People with Disability, which we today celebrate, calls for “Leadership and participation of persons with disabilities toward an inclusive, accessible and sustainable post-COVID-19 world”.
At first, this objective may seem somewhat overwhelming.
But I know that Autism Queensland has been championing this cause for almost 55 years – although not always during a pandemic!
While the organisation may have begun with only one part-time occupational therapist working with two children, it is now the State’s lead agency providing services to people of all ages on the autism spectrum.
This requires significant commitment and hard work, particularly when demand for your services continues to increase.
To those receiving trophies and certificates shortly, I offer my deepest congratulations. Your achievements are inspirational, and their effects are transformative.
On behalf of Queenslanders, I further commend the Board, staff, and generous volunteers of Autism Queensland, for demonstrating true commitment and vision over this past half century, and for taking the lead into the future.
It is now my great honour to present a certificate of Patronage to the Chair, before presenting today’s awards. Thank you.