Dinner with Inspiring Queenslanders
Deputy Commissioner for Europe, Trade and Investment Queensland, Mr Warren Bartlett, distinguished guests, good evening.
Graeme and I are delighted that the invitation to represent Queensland at the Coronation of King Charles III on Saturday has given us the opportunity to have contact with so many of the individuals and organisations in the United Kingdom with close ties to Queensland.
We are especially pleased to be able to host this evening’s dinner in honour of an inspiring group of Queenslanders who are now living and working in the UK. Thank you all for accepting our invitation.
You may be a long way from home, but the language, history, culture – and sense of humour! – we share with the UK have always made this a favoured destination for Australians and a place where they can thrive.
The statistics make that clear: Queenslanders are among the more than 87,000 Australian nationals currently living here in the UK, all drawn to the other side of the world, as they have been for generations, by one thing – opportunity.
Whether they are pursuing further education, developing global contacts or advancing their careers or businesses, they are invariably independent, enterprising, resourceful and adventurous, and have an exciting world view that extends way beyond the geographical limits of their home State.
Those qualities are amply evident in our guests this evening and make you fine ambassadors and advocates. On behalf of all Queenslanders, I thank you for that.
That same energy, resilience and resourcefulness are characteristics Graeme and I see repeatedly as we travel throughout our vast State to meet and talk to Queenslanders – and it’s really not surprising.
After all, we fought and won separation from New South Wales just 20 years after the penal settlement in Brisbane was closed, and, as part of that drive for independence, Queensland has vigorously pursued its interests in the UK ever since – the colony’s first commercial agent in London was appointed in 1859, just months after separation from New South Wales, and its first Agent-General ten years later.
Dave Stewart is the latest of 37 Agents-General to represent our State here in London and, on behalf of all Queenslanders, I thank him and the others in the Trade and Investment Queensland team on the vital work they do to promote Queensland’s interests in the UK and Europe.
And to all our inspiring Queenslanders here tonight – congratulations on your achievements to date. We wish you every success for the future.
Thank you again for joining us.