Launch of Brisbane Open House 2023
Brisbane Open House Chair, Mr Malcolm Middleton, Board members; Distinguished guests, Ladies and gentlemen.
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.
As Queenslanders, and as Joint Patrons of Brisbane Open House, Graeme and I have been proud and pleased to see this event become one of this city’s great success stories since it was first launched in 2010.
That year, the participating sites attracted a very satisfying tally of more than twelve and a half thousand visits, and who could have predicted that by the event’s tenth anniversary, in 2019, the number of visits would have increased more than six-fold.
Brisbane seemed to have indeed learned to appreciate the chance to explore and appreciate its built environment, which indeed contains many architectural delights.
Of course, within months of that hitting those attendance highs, the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
Now, the typical and very pragmatic reaction of the Open House board, management and sponsors, was not to declare that the sky was falling but to reimagine the concept and move away from a single weekend of celebration towards a full annual calendar.
I congratulate them on their commitment to finding a solution and thank them for continuing the Iconic Precincts and Villages of Brisbane events that were introduced so successfully last year.
Graeme and I are particularly pleased that Herston Health and Heritage has been chosen as this year’s iconic launch site.
The five entities within the broader Herston Health Precinct have been very familiar to us throughout our careers in health administration and medical science and will give visitors a rare opportunity to explore the history of this part of Brisbane, and to see, firsthand, some of the vital research that is now conducted there.
We look forward to seeing our architectural heritage celebrated without restriction again in 2023, and to experiencing the many innovations of this year’s program.
We are confident that residents and visitors will once again take this opportunity to engage with Brisbane’s built environment and its history.