International Women’s Day Wellbeing Walk and Tennis Court Activation
Health and Wellbeing Queensland Chief Executive Officer, Dr Robyn Littlewood; Tennis Queensland Board Director, Ms Roanne Lemmon-Warde; Women & Girls Lead, Ms Sunaina Jaswal, Head of Coaching and Player Pathways, Mr Sheridan Adams and staff; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen; boys and girls.
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.
Graeme and I are delighted to welcome you to the grounds of Government House.
As Patron of both Health and Wellbeing Queensland and Tennis Queensland, I am thrilled that we could gather here today on the eve of International Women’s Day.
This year’s International Women’s Day theme is ‘Cracking the Code: Innovation for a gender equal future’.
One piece of that equity puzzle is addressing the under representation of girls and women in organised sport, and I commend both Tennis Queensland and Health and Wellbeing Queensland for leading the way in actively encouraging girls to play sports from a young age.
Your efforts are building a brighter, healthier and more active future for the next generation of Queensland women.
I was also delighted to see Tennis Queensland recently reaffirm its commitment to achieving gender equality in the sport and open more doors for women and girls to participate in tennis with the launch of its Gender Equity Plan (2022-2024) last month.
It’s a wonderful step towards strengthening opportunities for females to be involved with the sport at all levels, and one that I hope will encourage more young girls to follow in the footsteps of Queensland’s own Ash Barty, who is such an inspirational role model to so many.
While I’m afraid my forehand does pale in comparison, I am hoping I can pick up a few tips myself today from the Hot Shots demonstration at the end of today’s walk.
Hot Shots is a wonderful program that encourages children to learn tennis in a safe and friendly environment from a young age, and I think I can spot a few young players in front of me who look ready to give today’s coaches a run for their money!
I am also particularly excited to show off the Government House tennis court – one of the original, and few remaining grass courts in Queensland.
Government House is a place for all Queenslanders, and it is my hope to share this wonderful facility with the public as often as possible, whether that is making it available for use at our community events, such as our Picnic Sunday last weekend, or for days such as this.
And as we shortly embark on our walk through the Fernberg bushland and down to the tennis court and Pavilion, I invite all of you to think about the wonderful contributions made by women in Queensland towards public health and to sport, of which there are countless.
But before we get underway, I would like to invite Health and Wellbeing CEO, Dr Robyn Littlewood, to say a few words. Thank you.