Community Bushwalk in support of Veterans' Health and War Widows
Health and Wellbeing Queensland Chair, Mr Steve Ryan, members of the Board, and Executive Director, Ms Gemma Hodgetts; Office for Veterans and Office for Rural and Regional Queensland Executive Director, Ms Kirrily Magill; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen.
I begin by acknowledging the original custodians of the lands around Brisbane, the Turrbal and Jagera people, and pay my respect to Elders, past, present, and emerging. I extend that respect to any First Nations people here with us today.
Good morning, and welcome. We’re very glad you could join us for this community bushland walk in support of Veterans’ health and to mark the inaugural War Widows’ Day.
Before we get started on our walk through the Fernberg Estate, I’d like to say a few words about the focus of today’s event.
Graeme and I have gone to some lengths to stress the benefits of exercise in improving our physical and mental health.
And we walk the talk, every chance we get, undertaking regular wellbeing walks around the estate and elsewhere, when time and the duties of the office permit.
However, today’s community walk, coming as it does in a month in which we acknowledge Veterans' Health Week, War Widows Day and Queensland Mental Health Week, also gives us an opportunity to draw attention to the psychological and physical impacts of conflict and war.
It gives us a chance to show our support for those who have made great sacrifices so that we might enjoy freedoms such as this.
In walking together today, we honour those we’ve lost in service to our nation by supporting those they have left in our care.
Today’s walk also fulfils the pledge I made when I was sworn in as Governor, to encourage a ‘healthy and active Queensland’, and to open the Estate grounds to more Queenslanders.
Fernberg’s 10 hectares of remnant original bushland, which serve as a refuge for all manner of native flora and fauna, belong to us all.
These Heritage-listed gardens you see around us are entrusted temporarily to we here at Government House, as custodians.
However, they exist in perpetuity as a place for all Queenslanders, providing respite and rejuvenation, or just a place to pass some time as the world rushes by.
Thank you for joining us today. Before we set off, I’d like to invite Health and Wellbeing Queensland Board Chair Mr Steve Ryan to say a few words.