Montrose Therapy and Respite Services 90th Anniversary Celebration
Montrose CEO, Ms Kerrie Mahon; Northcott CEO, Ms Liz Forsyth; Uncle Steven Coghill; representing the Acting CEO of NDIS, National Disability Services Queensland State Manager, Mr Jason McKey; former Presidents, Board Members, staff and clients of Montrose; sponsors; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen.
Thank you, Uncle Steven Coghill, for your Welcome to Country this afternoon. I would also like to begin by acknowledging the original custodians of the lands around Brisbane, the Turrbal and Jagera people, and extend respectful greetings to Elders, past, present and emerging, including any First Nations people here today.
Graeme and I are delighted to be with you today as part of this wonderful celebration of Montrose’s 90 years of dedicated service to children with disabilities.
Even with the recent experience of COVID-19, it’s difficult for us today to grasp just how frightening the polio epidemic was in Australia a century ago. Like COVID, it is an unpredictable and highly infectious virus; because of inadequate sanitation and little public understanding of disease transmission, it spread rapidly; and the treatment for the children who contracted the disease was both distressing and painful.
But fear, in this case, became a call to action and, here in Queensland, passionate individuals and committed organisations emerged to meet the challenge, tapping directly into the deep reservoir of public goodwill to establish the organisation we now know as Montrose.
Through our long careers in medicine, health administration and medical science, both Graeme and I are very aware of the enormous power of community to produce exceptional outcomes. Montrose is a superb example.
First, it was a voluntary community organisation, the Rotary Club of Brisbane – of which there are representatives here today – which persuaded Brisbane’s Lord Mayor to call a public meeting to form the Queensland Crippled Children’s Society in 1932.
Second, it was a private individual, the extremely generous philanthropist, Mr George Marchant, who spontaneously donated his beautiful Taringa home, Montrose, to the Society.
And then, it was the thousands upon thousands of individuals who responded to the Brisbane Courier’s appeal for donations to enable the new society to operate and maintain the gifted property.
It is a truly remarkable story – and one which deserves to be told for many anniversaries to come.
We wish you well in this, your 90th year, and every success for the future as part of the Northcott family – an exciting partnership that has also enabled the creation of the Montrose Foundation.
Graeme and I commend you on today’s official launch of the Foundation, which will position Montrose well to attract the philanthropic support and funding it needs to continue to deliver its life changing services and support well into the future.
Today has been our first visit to Montrose as Joint Patrons and we are delighted that we can present you with a Certificate of Vice-Regal patronage.
This simple certificate is a powerful symbol of our support for the work that Montrose does to build better lives for children and young people living with disability, but it also represents the gratitude of all Queenslanders and the pride and faith we all have in the work that you do.
I now invite Graeme and Montrose CEO, Kerri Mahon, to join me for the presentation of the patronage certificate.