Commonwealth Day Luncheon
President of the Royal Commonwealth Society of Queensland and Former Administrator of Norfolk Island, the Honourable Gary Hardgrave; Consul-General of the United Kingdom in Queensland, Mr Richard Cowin MBE and members of the Consular Corps in Queensland; representatives of the Royal Victorian Order; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen.
I begin by acknowledging the original custodians of the land where we’re gathered today, the Turrbal and Jagera people, and pay my respects to Elders past, present and emerging.
Graeme and I are delighted to welcome you to Fernberg for today’s luncheon.
The honour of hosting this annual event occurs every second year for the Office of the Governor, so this will be the first occasion on which Graeme and I have had the pleasure of showcasing the skills of our Government House chefs and the finest of Queensland produce at a Commonwealth Day luncheon.
Today also marks the tenth anniversary of the signing of the Commonwealth Charter by Her Late Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.
The 16 core values expressed in that charter have helped to define the goals and aspirations of the Commonwealth’s 56 member countries, goals that are very clearly expressed in the 2023 Commonwealth Day theme: forging a sustainable and peaceful common future.
This theme echoes the hopes expressed last year by our late Queen in what was to be her final Commonwealth Day message.
In it, she expressed the hope that member countries would strive to ensure that the Commonwealth remains “an influential force for good in our world for many generations to come”.
Today, His Majesty, King Charles III will preside over his first Commonwealth Day. No doubt, he will continue the path of his late mother’s gracious leadership as we look to him to provide the same sense of unity, stability and strength in today’s uncertain world.
In His Majesty’s The King’s Commonwealth Day Message, he calls for joint action and the practical pursuit of the common good to improve the lives of the 2.6 billion people who call the Commonwealth home and secure a prosperous, durable and sustainable future.
We each have a role to play in helping build that future, and as Governor, I would like to thank you for the tremendous work you do to improve the lives of citizens here in our State, and around the Commonwealth.
In closing, I would now like to share with you His Majesty The King’s Commonwealth Day Message for this day, the 13th of March, 2023.