Morning Tea in support of Arthritis Queensland
Arthritis Queensland, Board Chair, Dr Helen Benham and members of the Board; CEO, Mr Alex Green; General Manager, Mr Ultan O’Dwyer; staff and volunteers; donors and supporters of Arthritis Queensland; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen.
I begin by acknowledging the original custodians of the lands around Brisbane, the Turrbal and Jagera people, and extend my respectful greetings to Elders, past, present and emerging.
It gives Graeme and I the greatest pleasure to welcome you to Government House this morning to honour Arthritis Queensland and the exceptional support the organisation gives to the many Queenslanders whose lives are impacted by this widely known — but all too often misunderstood — condition.
It is not uncommon for arthritis to just be accepted as part of the ageing process but — as everyone here today knows — this is far from the truth.
In fact, over 100 forms of this complex — and often debilitating — condition exist, inflaming and damaging the joints of both young and old, and often causing severe pain, while upending the lives of sufferers and their families.
As Joint Patrons, and as former doctors, Graeme and I are therefore incredibly grateful and proud of the brilliant work undertaken by Arthritis Queensland. The understanding and care provided by your staff and volunteers are life-changing and give much needed hope to some of our most vulnerable Queenslanders.
Since 1976, the organisation has fostered a warm and compassionate community, and strived to ensure all Queenslanders have access to the latest information and best possible treatment, giving those living with arthritis the chance to live full lives, free of pain.
You may be aware that both Graeme and I are strong advocates of preventive health and one of my key commitments as Governor is to encourage a healthy and active state. So, I was particularly happy to learn of the wonderful work Arthritis Queensland is doing to encourage a strong focus on prevention through programs that promote strong physical health and mental wellbeing.
Research and advocacy are also central to the organisation’s vision of Freedom from Arthritis.
With generous financial contributions from partners and supporters, Arthritis Queensland has helped advance ground-breaking research, assisted in the establishment of new patient services, and improved health inequities.
Last month, on the 12th of October, Australia joined countries around the globe in observing World Arthritis Day, and this year an extraordinary $118,000 was raised as part of Arthritis Queensland’s ‘Big Give 4 Arthritis’ Giving Day. Thank you to all those who gave so generously, in particular the ‘matched partners’, whose kindness and altruism granted a quadrupling of the funds donated. The monies raised will make a real, and immediate, difference.
Graeme and I commend the Board and the devoted staff and volunteers, for your dedication to improving the lives of Queenslanders living with arthritis.
Graeme and I would now like to take this opportunity to present Arthritis Queensland CEO, Mr Alex Green, with a Certificate of Joint Vice-Regal Patronage — before asking you to join us for some wonderful Government House hospitality. Thank you.