Launch of Brazil Week 2022 and 200 Years of Independence
Representing the Premier of Queensland and Minister for the Olympics, Minister for Children and Youth Justice and Minister for Multicultural Affairs, the Honourable Leanne Linard MP; Representing the Leader of Opposition, Shadow Minister for Multiculturalism, Mr John-Paul Langbroek MP; Representing the Lord Mayor of Brisbane, Councillor Vicki Howard; Ambassador of Brazil, His Excellency Mauricio Lyrio; Consul-General of Brazil, His Excellency Jorge Kadri; Honorary Consul for Brazil in Queensland and the CEO of the Australia Brazil Chamber of Commerce, Ms Valeria Noleto; Consuls General and Honorary-Consuls; distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.
I would also like to acknowledge the original custodians of the lands around Brisbane, the Turrbal and Jagera people, and extend respectful greetings to Elders, past, present and emerging.
Olá! Graeme and I are thrilled to be part of the inaugural Brazil Week, and are so proud that the Australia-Brazil Chamber of Commerce selected Brisbane, along with the Gold and Sunshine Coasts, to host this special celebration.
We already have a growing Brazilian community in the southeast—one of the fastest growing of any nationality—and this week will showcase the “best of Brazil”, demonstrating how much our State has benefitted from the influence, contribution, and the tremendous warmth and enthusiasm of the Brazilian people.
2022 also marks 200 years since Dom Pedro declared Brazil’s independence from Portugal with his famous “Cry of Ipiranga”, and on the 7th of September I am sure that Brazilians all over the world—including those living in Australia—will be joining the party to mark this significant historic milestone.
Yet, Australia’s ties with Brazil predate its independence. In 1787, the First Fleet sailed into Rio de Janeiro’s magnificent harbor and stayed for one-month to rest and restock.
First Fleet journals—written by those privileged enough to go ashore—describe an incredible array of fresh fruit and vegetables, fish, flowers and exotic birds, along with lively festivities which must have been truly dazzling after the drudgery of life onboard the ships.
This was an early taste of the richness and vibrancy that Brazilian culture offered, and this experience marked the beginning of a connection with our country that still rewards us 235 years later.
Now, Brazil is Australia’s largest trade partner in Latin America, and our countries enjoy a bond built on mutual respect, underpinned by the efforts of our diplomatic relationships, which were first established in 1945, and continue to flourish today.
Brazil Week will give Queenslanders the chance to experience the renowned vivacity of Brazilian culture, yet most significantly, also learn more about the depth and range of its unique assets, and the opportunities for further trade, business and investment that exist between our two countries.
Building stronger and deeper bilateral business and personal associations will be of enormous benefit into the future.
I thank the Australia-Brazil Chamber of Commerce for creating this outstanding event and for bringing it to Queensland, and commend its team of volunteer members and collaborators who have put in immense effort to make this week happen.
I also extend my gratitude to the many sponsors for their generous support, and of course, to all the Brazilian Queenslanders for what they have brought to our State.
Congratulations on this achievement, and I wish you all a very successful, productive and fun-filled week ahead.