Opening of the Brisbane Festival
Minister for Treaty, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Minister for Communities and Minister for the Arts, the Honourable Leeanne Enoch MP; 25th Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia and 24th Governor of Queensland, the Honourable Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO; Chair, Brisbane Festival Giving Committee, the Honourable Justice Thomas Bradley; The Right Honourable the Lord Mayor of Brisbane, Councillor Adrian Schrinner; Shadow Minister for Arts, Shadow Minister for Education, Dr Christian Rowan MP; Brisbane Festival Chair, Ms Anna Reynolds; Deputy Chair and Giving Committee Member, Mr Philip Bacon AO; Artistic Director, Ms Louise Bezzina; Chief Executive Officer, Mr Charlie Cush; Brisbane Festival staff and supporters; Brisbane Festival Indigenous Advisory Group; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen.
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, and to all First Nations people here this evening.
In particular, I acknowledge and thank Shannon Ruska and Tribal Experiences for their performance of Jarrah.
They have reminded us that the people of our First Nations once gathered here at Kurilpa, beside the mighty Maiwar, to trade, hunt, and share stories, dance and songs.
Today, we also share music and performances, but more importantly, this marvellous annual festival draws the people of River City together to celebrate and connect as a community.
When I was appointed as Governor, almost two years ago, I came from a long career focused on the common good, and at my swearing-in I made a public pledge to continue that focus by encouraging a healthy and active Queensland.
The role of Patron of Brisbane Festival gives me the perfect opportunity to do just that, and Graeme and I are looking forward immensely to experiencing the positive impact this city-wide celebration has on the collective well-being of Queenslanders.
I can’t imagine anything more joyous and life-affirming than Tae Tae in the Land of Yaaas or Bananaland or the world’s biggest kazoo orchestra.
Just the thought of ten thousand people pointing pink kazoos at the world is sufficient to lift anyone’s spirits.
But a Festival is more than just sugar hits like kazoos en masse.
There needs to be good, nourishing food for thought, and this year’s Festival program offers us an inspiring and highly nutritious menu.
From Bangarra’s Yuldea and Britten’s War Requiem to the extraordinary promenade experience of Salamander and dozens of other performances, the 2023 Festival is packed with provocative conversation-starters.
To the Board, the Artistic Director, the CEO, the Leadership Team, the Giving Committee, and the exceptionally generous partners, sponsors and donors – congratulations and thank you for your continued commitment to the bold and ambitious vision that has characterised this Festival since it began in 2009.
And to the many hundreds of artists and the veritable army of crew and volunteers, we can’t wait to experience the wonderful feast that you have prepared for us all to enjoy over the next 23 days and nights.