Garden Reception in Honour of the Official Birthday of Her Majesty The Queen
Representing the Premier of Queensland and Minister for the Olympics, Minister for Transport and Main Roads, the Honourable Mark Bailey MP; Chief Justice of Queensland, the Honourable Helen Bowskill; Mr Speaker, the Honourable Curtis Pitt MP; 25th Governor-General of Australia and 24th Governor of Queensland, the Honourable Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO; 23rd Governor of Queensland, Major General the Honourable Peter Arnison AC, CVO; 22nd Governor of Queensland, the Honourable Leneen Forde AC; Former Administrator of Norfolk Island, the Honourable Gary Hardgrave; representing the Leader of the Opposition, Shadow Minister for Finance, Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations, Mr Jarrod Bleijie MP; Justices of the Supreme Court of Queensland; representing the Lord Mayor of Brisbane, Councillor for Paddington, Mr Peter Matic; Members of Parliament; Commanding Officer, HMAS Moreton, Royal Australian Navy, Commander Fiona Southwood RAN; Archbishop of Brisbane, Anglican Church of Australia, His Grace the Most Reverend Dr Phillip Aspinall AC; Deputy Dean of the Consular Corps of Queensland, Mr Michal Horvath, and other Consuls-General and Honorary Consuls; Commissioners; distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.
I begin by acknowledging the original custodians of the lands around Brisbane, the Turrbal and Jagera people, and extend respectful greetings to Elders, past, present and emerging.
I am most honoured this evening, as the 27th Governor of Queensland, to recognise Her Majesty The Queen’s official birthday, particularly more triumphant as The Queen celebrates her Platinum Jubilee this year, continuing her reign as our longest serving Monarch.
At a glorious 96 years of age, Queen Elizabeth the Second continues to convey the epitome of public service and dedication to duty – a truly inspiring commitment.
Of course, in the seven decades since her accession to the throne, Her Majesty has seen many major social, political and economic changes. Over the years our world has been altered by differing social norms, developing technologies and new ways of thinking.
Despite the ever-changing world, Her Majesty has always reigned as an exemplary and inspiring monarch, and continues to represent the spirit of peace and strength in the life of the Queensland community.
As our Head of State, we see the Queen represented every day on our coins, our buildings, within our organisations – with many royal societies and associations in the room with us this evening.
We truly are The Queen’s Land.
Indeed, The Queen has graced our great State a remarkable eight times over her 70-year reign, with her first visit in 1954 at the age of 27 - with her late husband, the Duke of Edinburgh. For many reasons, this visit was a defining moment of her reign, as she became the first and only reigning monarch to visit Australia.
The Queen and Prince Philip travelled widely across Queensland over those eight visits; visiting Bundaberg, Toowoomba, Townsville, Cairns, Mackay and Rockhampton in her first tour alone.
It was during that inaugural visit that The Queen stayed here – at Fernberg – with the 16th Queensland Governor Sir John Lavarack and his wife, Lady Lavarack.
I have no doubt that as a keen traveller – The Queen has enjoyed her many visits to Queensland; with travel being an important role as Sovereign of 14 Commonwealth realms in addition to the United Kingdom.
Graeme and I are delighted to be travelling to England for the Commonwealth Games later this year and we are thrilled and privileged to be able to continue to strengthen the ties between The Queen, the Commonwealth and Queensland.
Her Majesty has always kept abreast of current events across our State and has often commended our resilience. Just a few months ago, in April, Her Majesty distributed a message to the people of Queensland and New South Wales following the widespread flooding, where she noted that “Australians’ resolute spirit and community mindedness” had once again shone through.
I wholeheartedly agree; I am so proud of the sense of community spirit Queenslanders carry – our eagerness to lend a hand, to be giving our time, and even travel great distances to help those in need.
Our strong sense of community support is backed by our keenness to celebrate the good things! Hearing about all the different ways that the community is celebrating The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee makes me so very proud to be Her Majesty’s 12th personal representative since her accession in 1952.
From street parties being held across our regions, to the thousands we expect to join us here at Government House for our Platinum Jubilee Open Day on Saturday, it is heart-warming to see Queenslanders coming together to celebrate this historic milestone.
So it is with delight, that Graeme and I warmly welcome you to Government House this evening to join with people around our State, Nation and throughout the Commonwealth, in celebrating Her Majesty’s Official Birthday and 70 years of selfless and dedicated service.
Now may I ask that you please join me in a toast, with deep gratitude and respect, to the inspiring leadership of our Head of State, Queen Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God Queen of Australia and Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth.