Consular Corps Christmas Dinner 2022
Premier of Queensland, Minister for the Olympics and Paralympics, the Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk MP; Executive Councilors; Leader of the Opposition and Shadow Minister for the Olympics and Paralympics, Mr David Crisafulli MP; Shadow Ministers; Queensland Police Service Commissioner Katrina Carroll APM;
Dean of the Consul Corps of Queensland, Mr Daniel Gschwind; Councillors; distinguished guests.
I begin by acknowledging the traditional custodians of the lands on which we gather, the Turrbal and Jagera peoples, and extend my respectful greetings to their Elders past, present and emerging.
Graeme and I are delighted to join you for our second Queensland Consular Corps Christmas Dinner since my swearing-in just over a year ago, and I thank you for the invitation and your generous hospitality.
I know it has been another busy year for the Corps, and I particularly want to thank you all for the contribution you have made as the global pandemic has continued. It has had a significant impact on your personal and consular lives, but your ready availability and dependable presence have been of great support to those who have sought your help.
Your work, whether as career or honorary consular representatives, is invaluable to the countries you represent but it is also vital to Queensland and Australia in strengthening international understanding.
This was particularly evident in September following the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second. As her representative in Queensland, I was greatly heartened that so many members of the Corps called at Government House to sign messages of condolence or attend the ceremony to mark the National Day of Mourning for our late sovereign.
The skies may have wept on that sombre day, but this did not deter the representatives of the Corps from laying wreaths at the Queen’s statue in the grounds of Government House in recognition of Her Majesty’s remarkable 70 years of service.
Consular relationships have now been part of the Queensland story for almost 170 years, and they remain vital to building our trade and cultural ties around the world.
It was particularly pleasing this year to see the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea opened after so many years of sustained effort by Brisbane’s Korean community.
I was also delighted to see the support the Corps gave to the launch of Brazil Week and to the Remembrance Day Ceremony in Anzac Square.
In between these key events, you have somehow managed to find the time to plan this splendid annual dinner.
For Graeme and I, it’s a special occasion which captures the very essence of the Corps because, while not all of the 43 countries represented in the Corps are Christian nations, and Christmas is celebrated in many different ways, I know all of you respect the spirit of peace, goodwill and hope that this season represents.
I wish you and your families a safe and happy Christmas season.