Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC) 2022 Awards for Excellence Dinner
Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council Chair, Mr Matthew Cooke; Members of the Board and CEO, Mr Cleveland Fagan; Queensland’s first Chief Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Officer, Ms Haylene Grogan; Health and Wellbeing Queensland CEO, Professor Robyn Littlewood; award recipients; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen.
I begin by also acknowledging the Traditional Owners of the lands on which we gather and their deep connection to land and community. I extend this respect to all First Nations people across our State, and to Elders past, present and emerging, who share their unique knowledge with great wisdom.
To all the First Nations people with us this evening, thank you for caring for the health and wellbeing of those in your communities, and for helping to shape a stronger, more culturally appropriate healthcare system.
I am so delighted to be joining you all tonight at this special gala event to celebrate the achievements of Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council Members.
Although my time as Queensland’s Chief Health Officer is behind me, I remain committed—as Governor of this State—to encouraging improved health outcomes for all.
I am therefore so proud of the important work being done every day by the many dedicated and determined organisations and individuals within our Community-Controlled Health Sector, who deliver comprehensive first-class primary health care statewide, with a deep and respectful understanding of local needs.
Alongside clinical services, these organisations are driving the research and policy positions required to tackle broader social issues from chronic diseases to suicide prevention, from maternal health to immunisation education, and this helps build more vibrant, cohesive communities, where everyone feels supported and valued.
During my term as Governor, I am looking forward to visiting some of these special organisations, particularly those in remote areas.
Tonight’s awards highlight the most outstanding efforts for 2022, across six categories, and I am thrilled to shortly be announcing this year’s special Hall of Fame inductee.
All awardees have demonstrated incredible innovation, adaptability and above all, a tremendous commitment to generating positive outcomes for those they serve.
These qualities are so important in a time of constant change and increasing complexity, when there remain significant challenges to be overcome to fulfill the vision of the QAIHC, and eliminate the disparities in health and wellbeing experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
I congratulate you all for your contributions to furthering this life-changing and life-saving objective, and for being inspirational role models for others.
I also take this opportunity to recognise the incredible job being done by the Board, CEO and staff at the QAIHC—which is such a powerful voice for all First Nations people in our State, and is leading collaborative initiatives and taskforces across a wide range of areas, that will have a positive impact now and into the future.
These awards are a reflection of the immense support you give your Members, and I wholeheartedly commend you for your passion and dedication.
Finally, I also thank the generous sponsors who have made this evening’s event possible.
Enjoy the celebration!