Mitchelton Meals on Wheels 50th Anniversary luncheon
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities, the Honourable Mark Furner MP; Member for Everton, Mr Tim Mander; Councillor Andrew Wines, Enoggera Ward; President of Meals on Wheels North West Committee, Ms Kathy Manifold; Acting Operations Manager of Meals on Wheels North West Committee, Mr Paul Hobbs; Meals on Wheels Members; ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon.
I begin by acknowledging the Traditional Custodians of the lands of Brisbane, the Turrbul and Jagera people, and pay my respects to Elder, past, present and emerging.
As Governor, and joint Patrons of Meals on Wheels Queensland, with my husband, Graeme, who unfortunately cannot be here today, I am truly delighted to be joining you today to celebrate 50 years of dedicated community service by Mitchelton Meals on Wheels.
Half a century of continuous support and care for some of your most vulnerable community members is an enormous achievement and is clear evidence that the organisation has been, and continues to be, highly valued by local residents.
In addition to this significant milestone, I understand that on the 23rd of October last year the one and half millionth meal was delivered on behalf of the branch. This is a brilliant accomplishment of which to be truly proud!
I was somewhat disappointed to realise that I had only narrowly missed the opportunity to be at that occasion, as I had not yet been sworn as Governor. It would have been an honour to follow in the footsteps of the former Queensland Governor Dame Quentin Bryce who I believe had the privilege of serving your millionth meal!
The Meals on Wheels service is valued and cherished by Queenslanders, because they know when there is reliable access to healthy food and regular contact with caring individuals, their loved ones, who are in need of extra support, have the chance to stay well-nourished and can continue to live independently at home.
As medical professionals, Graeme and I wholeheartedly attest to that sentiment. Nutritious food and social contact have been shown beyond doubt to have enormous physical and mental health benefits for us all, but for the isolated and the elderly the advantages become almost incalculable.
The delivery of meals and the regular companionship, however, would not be possible without the dedicated staff at Mitchelton Meals on Wheels and, of course, the mighty band of generous volunteers.
Without you there would be no helpers in the kitchen, no drivers to transport meals and no friendly faces brightening up the days of the many clients who access your service.
I am deeply grateful for the devotion and the care you provide, and congratulate the organisation for its leadership and recognition as an exemplary community service.
On behalf of all Queenslanders, my heartfelt thanks goes out to you all and I wish you a very happy 50th anniversary.