Queensland Agri-Futures Rural Women’s Award
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Minister for Rural Communities, the Honourable Mark Furner MP; Deputy-Director-General, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Ms Bernadette Ditchfield; Rural Women’s Award Queensland State Chair, Ms Ann Ross; Program Manager, from AgriFutures Australia, Ms Sheridan Ingold and State Coordinator, from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Ms Reyna Harrison; sponsors; award finalists; distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.
I begin by acknowledging the original custodians of the lands around Brisbane, the Turrbal and Jagera people, and pay my respects to Elders past, present and emerging. I extend that respect to any First Nations people here today.
We are here today to celebrate the achievements of women whose leadership and endeavours are inspiring the next generation of rural and regional Queenslanders.
In doing so, we acknowledge the essential role women play in rural businesses, industries and communities.
Since taking up my post as Queensland Governor, I have spent as much time as my program of official engagements allows in rural and regional communities across the State.
This is part of my commitment to visiting Queenslanders where they live, to learn about their interests and their issues and how best I can support them.
I've travelled as far north as Thursday Island, west to Mount Isa, down through Central Queensland, over the Darling Downs and Western Downs, and south to the Gold Coast and Scenic Rim.
In each place, I’ve met with people who strive every day to improve their lives, and to contribute to their communities.
Needless to say, many are women.
Some are leaders in their industries, responsible for the lives and livelihoods of countless thousands of Queenslanders.
Others are innovators whose work contributes to enhancing the prosperity of rural and regional Queensland.
All are people who I could confidently say prefer to live and work outside of big cities and courageously embrace the unique challenges that come with rural living.
I feel privileged to have the opportunity to meet such people and witness first-hand the difference they are making to their communities and to our state and nation.
And so, I would like extend my congratulations to all those nominated for this award.
Thank you all for your hard work, ideas and all-round brilliance. I hope to visit you where you live very soon.