Celebrating International Day of People with Disabilities - Spinal Life Australia
Spinal Life Australia CEO, Mr Mark Townend; distinguished guests.
I acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands around Brisbane, the Turrbal and Jagera peoples, and extend greetings to Elders, past, present and emerging.
Graeme and I warmly welcome you to Government House this morning.
As Governor and your new Patron, I am honoured to join the staff, volunteers and friends of Spinal Life Australia, as we mark the United Nations International Day of People with Disability.
The theme for this year’s celebration is “Leadership and participation of persons with disabilities toward an inclusive, accessible and sustainable post-COVID-19 world”.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused much anxiety for those living with a disability.
I have no doubt Spinal Life Australia had to overcome many logistical challenges, to ensure continuity of care in providing essential day-to-day support and reassurance for their clients.
I very much wish to thank the organisation for ensuring some of our most vulnerable Queensland community members remained safe and connected over these past two difficult years.
As doctors, Graeme and I are acutely aware of the complex medical issues and the disruption to everyday life that occur after a spinal cord injury.
The impact of such a trauma is life changing for individuals and their families.
However, through the brilliant leadership displayed by the team at Spinal Life Australia, sufferers are given hope and shown a way forward.
What you do is just so vitally important.
Your staff, volunteers and clients are leading by example, showing the broader community how – with timely ongoing support, and an open-minded attitude – lives can be positively redefined.
You should be extremely proud of the role you play in promoting equal community participation for those living with spinal cord injury.
Of course, there is still much work to be done in advocating for better access to the opportunities this great State has to offer.
I thank Spinal Life for championing greater equality, and for its commitment to innovation, evidenced through visionary initiatives like the Spinal Life Healthy Living Centre in Cairns.
As your Patron, I too, will certainly do all I can to support your aim of creating a more inclusive Queensland.
I congratulate Spinal Life Australia and wish the staff, board and supporters every success as you continue your valuable work.
I now have the great honour of presenting a certificate of vice-regal Patronage to your CEO. Thank you.