Legacy Centenary Torch Relay 2023
The Right Honourable the Lord Mayor of Brisbane, Councillor Adrian Schrinner; Legacy Australia Chair, Mr Eric Easterbrook; Legacy Brisbane President, Mr Paul Power, Vice President, Dr Annabel McGuire, CEO, Mr Brendan Cox and staff; Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Deputy Secretary, Major General Stuart Smith AO DSC (Retd); Queensland Reconstruction Authority CEO, Major General Jake Ellwood DSC AM CSC (Retd); Australian Defence Force personnel; Legacy Torch Bearers; Legatees; 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 Joint Patrons of the Legacy Club of Brisbane, Graeme and I are proud to be hosting this morning’s very special occasion to begin the Legacy Torch Relay’s Brisbane leg and celebrate 100 incredible years of Legacy’s service to veterans and their families.
On the 29th of April, we were both fortunate to attend the Torch Relay Ceremony at the Australian War Memorial in Hyde Park, London, as well as the Reception that evening, and are so thrilled that Government House in Queensland is now playing a role in this historic event.
I am sure our State’s first Vice-Regal Patron, Sir John Goodwin—a soldier and doctor—would be proud to see Legacy honoured with such respect, because in 1929, when he became Patron—after seeing the grief and hardship brought by the Great War—he did so “not simply as a matter of policy, but because the club was near to his heart”.
Over its 100 years, Legacy has grown and developed—now with 44 clubs across Australia, and one in London—providing long-term social, emotional, developmental and financial support to thousands of individuals and families, through many other major conflicts and global peacekeeping missions.
But it has never lost sight of its foundational objective based on the simple, but powerful battlefield promise made from one mate to another, to “look after the missus and the kids”, and that is what makes it both so effective, and so cherished.
The ongoing, dedicated involvement of Legacy’s countless volunteers—its Legatees—remains the backbone of the organisation’s strength, and I commend all of them, including the Legatees with us today, for this outstanding contribution.
The Legacy Torch carries an important message in its enduring flame—one of service and sacrifice that has been handed down through the generations, and one that continues to inspire and guide us.
When it completes its six-month journey in October, the Legacy Torch will have travelled an astounding 50,000 kilometres, through 100 locations, and will have been carried by about 1,500 Torch Bearers, and supported by 2,000 volunteers.
This morning, Graeme and I are honoured to be joining this special group.
On behalf of the people of Queensland, I thank all of the Defence Force personnel who serve our country with such dedication. I also acknowledge the valuable support of Defence Health for bringing this most significant of centenary events to us.
And I commend Legacy—its Board, Executive and staff—for marking the organisation’s 100 amazing years in such a visible and considered way, and for ensuring the flame continues to burn brightly into the future.
Graeme and I look forward to the honour of commencing the Brisbane leg of the Legacy Torch Relay shortly, following morning tea.
Thank you and please enjoy the warm hospitality of Government House.