Legacy Gala Dinner 2023
Representing the Queensland Premier, Assistant Minister for Veterans' Affairs and Assistant Minister of State, Mr Bart Mellish MP; Representing the Leader of the Opposition, Shadow Assistant Minister for Defence Industry, Shadow Assistant Minister for Veterans, Shadow Assistant Minister for Higher Education and Research, Mr James Lister MP; Representing the Lord Mayor of Brisbane, Civic Cabinet Chair for Finance and City Governance and Councillor for Coorparoo, Councillor Fiona Cunningham; Commander 1st Division, Major General Scott Winter AM; Commander Combat Support Group, Air Commodore Robert Graham; Commanding Officer HMAS Moreton, Commander Fiona Southwood RAN; Legacy Brisbane President, Mr Paul Power and staff; Distinguished guests; Ladies and gentlemen.
I begin by also 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 this evening.
As Joint Patrons of the Legacy Club of Brisbane, Graeme and I are thrilled to be joining you all for this special gala dinner and are delighted to see so many like-minded people supporting this remarkable organisation.
2023 has been momentous for Legacy, as it celebrates an incredible one hundred years of service to veterans and their families.
For a century, the powerful battleground promise made between two mates — “to look after the missus and the kids” — has remained the unwavering driving force behind Legacy’s efforts.
Yet this milestone achievement is not just about looking back.
It is about looking to the future, as we honour a dynamic, energetic organisation that is committed to meeting the changing needs of those in its care — an organisation that is responsive to the social norms and standards that shape contemporary requirements.
To this end, Legacy Brisbane CEO Brendan Cox travelled to the US and the UK, as part of a well-earned Churchill Fellowship, to investigate better models of care for veteran families.
His work recognises that the health needs of those returning from active service or peacekeeping missions is complex, and that for some, issues — particularly around mental health — can continue long after they have returned home, affecting their families, and causing ongoing challenges.
I am therefore so proud that from Brendan’s immensely important analysis, Legacy House has been established.
When this facility in the Greenslopes Hospital precinct is open, it will set a new standard of exceptional service for the families of veterans, provide support to Legacy Clubs across the State, and house other key veterans’ support services — harnessing the strength and efficiency of collaboration.
Most significantly, Legacy House will put families at its centre — it will be a place of warmth and compassion that welcomes everyone; a place they can call “home”.
I congratulate Brendan for his groundbreaking work, and for his commitment to improving the lives of vulnerable people in our community.
And I commend the entire Legacy team — the Board, Executive and staff, the fundraising patrons and committee members, Legatees, volunteers, and Legacy Dependents — for your determination to see initiatives such as this being realised, while remaining ever-true to Legacy’s foundational ethos.
Of course, a big idea like Legacy House requires the support of many, and so this evening I also acknowledge the phenomenal help of all donors and sponsors — those wonderful corporations and individuals who give generously so that others can benefit. Thank you all for your truly life-changing contributions.
Finally, as we look towards Remembrance Day next Saturday, to honour those who have served and sacrificed, I take this opportunity, on behalf of Queenslanders, to thank all of our current Defence Force members who demonstrate such bravery and dedication.
Today, Legacy’s promise remains as important as it did when first made, a hundred years ago.
Together, we can ensure Legacy continues to support any ‘mate’ who needs it — and his missus and the kids, too — well into the next century.