Wesley Mission Queensland Chief Executive Officer, Ms Jude Emmer; Hummingbird House General Manager of Palliative Care Services, Ms Ellen Whittaker; Nurse Practitioner and Hummingbird House Lead, Ms Kelly Oldham; Manager of the Family and Community Support Team, Mr Elham Day; Hummingbird House staff and volunteers; parents, carers and children.
I begin by acknowledging the Traditional Owners of the lands around Brisbane, the Turrbal and Jagera people, and pay my respects to Elders past, present and emerging, and to any First Nations people here today.
Thank you for inviting me here this morning to meet with you all and to share with you one of my favourite activities as Governor: reading from one of my favourite books, A Place for All Queenslanders.
We’ll get to that soon, but first I wanted to say a few words meant for the adults in the room, mainly.
Of course, I have visited here once before, in my former role as Chief Health Officer of Queensland.
I’m so pleased to be returning here today as Governor, and as Patron of Hummingbird House, to take a peek at some new additions to this unique and special facility.
As we all know, Hummingbird House serves an incredibly important purpose in helping families and their precious little ones feel comforted and loved at an especially difficult time.
It is a rare privilege to be invited into your home away from home, and something I know I will cherish.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the wonderful nursing and medical personnel, many of whom are here today, along with the personal care team, therapists, family and community support workers and allied health professionals, as well as the wonderful chefs, housekeepers, and of course, your very special volunteers.
To the families – as a parent myself, please know that you are often in my thoughts, and I draw some comfort from knowing that you are looked after by this dedicated team in this beautiful place.
And to you children, who’ve probably heard enough of boring adult talk!
I have been looking forward to reading to you from Government House’s very own children’s book, A Place for All Queenslanders.
It tells the story of the native animals that inhabit the Fernberg Estate, not far from here, where I live, while I am Governor at least.
Squirrel gliders Mac and Mary are among the many protected species that have made their home in this little patch of bushland.
They’ve found a place that’s safe and comfortable, surrounded by friends and protectors.
It’s a bit like Hummingbird House, only furrier!
Just before we jump into reading, I’d like to first call Ms Ellen Whittaker forward to receive a Certificate of Vice-Regal Patronage on behalf of Hummingbird House.