NAIDOC Week 2023 Dinner
Mr Chris Saines CNZM; Ms Clare O’Connor PSM; Dr David Hinchliffe; Ms Sandra King OAM; Ms Cheryl Creed; Ms Naomi Hobson; Ms Liz Golding; Ms Briana Enoch; Our incredible fashion show models.
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, who—as highlighted by this year’s NAIDOC Week theme—are such important and valued leaders in their communities.
Good evening all, and welcome to this very special dinner in celebration of NAIDOC Week – a culmination of what has been a truly wonderful and memorable afternoon and evening.
Graeme and I welcome you all to Government House this evening and pay particular tribute to the many First Nations people joining us at the table.
I know some of you have travelled a long way to be here, and we are so delighted to be able to share this special dinner with you, as an extra thank you for your efforts this week, and more broadly to our State and nation.
The success of this year’s NAIDOC Week Government House Indigenous Fashion Parade and Art Exhibition is a testament to the work of many—the artists, artisans and designers, the organisers, and all those who have helped bring this “first of its kind” event to Fernberg.
We have been so proud to have the magnificent artworks in the House, adorning the walls of our Investiture Room and on display in the entrance foyer. I know—for the artists here tonight—your work comes from a place of deep creativity, but is inspired by an intrinsic passion for place, and the richness of ancient traditional stories, which have been passed along by others.
We were also thrilled to see the Investiture Room transformed into a fashion hub, and were amazed by the talented use of fabrics, textiles and design, brought to us so vividly by the exceptional young models.
The incredible depth of ability represented by all of you, is proven by the fact that your art—in its various forms—is reaching wider audiences, here and overseas, and whether you are established or emerging, I encourage you to continue to bring Indigenous stories to life through creative expression. Our State is much richer and significantly more vibrant as a result.
I also acknowledge, with gratitude, the immense efforts of those working behind the scenes to bring these events to Government House—here with us, Ms Sandra King, Ms Cheryl Creed, Ms Liz Golding, and of course, artist Dr David Hinchcliffe—who not only curated the Exhibition, but who also generously loaned us the artworks.
We will be sad to see these go…although fortunately we still have a glorious collection of Indigenous art of our own, permanently on show at Government House for our many visitors to experience.
We hope you enjoy tonight’s dinner, prepared for you especially by our Head Chef, using the best and freshest of Queensland ingredients.
Once again, congratulations, and happy NAIDOC Week 2023!