Queensland Muslims Inc. Iftar Dinner
Queensland Muslims Incorporated President, Mr Habib Jamal, Vice-President, Mr Farouk Adam; Secretary, Mr Muhammad Khatree; and Executive Members, including matriarch, Aunty Janeth Deen OAM; representing Multicultural Australia, Chief Development Officer, Mr Jason Olsson-Seeto; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen.
Thank you, Aunty Janeth Deen, for your acknowledgement of country. I too, would like to begin by acknowledging the original custodians of the lands around Brisbane, the Turrbal and Jagera people, and pay my respect to Elders, past, present, and emerging. I extend that respect to all First Nations people here with us today.
I was honoured and humbled to receive the invitation to join you during Ramadan for this special Iftar, and I thank Queensland Muslims Incorporated for the warm welcome you have extended to me.
I would also like to acknowledge Multicultural Australia for their assistance in facilitating this evening.
It’s wonderful to be here at the Academy Alive Community Centre. This one-of-a-kind facility is unique in Queensland and is a fine example of what can be achieved through the vision and foresight of the Muslim community.
The sacred rituals of Ramadan such as Iftar and Taraweeh are, of course, fundamental to Muslims but they also represent an excellent annual opportunity for Brisbane’s Muslims to reach out to the broader community and challenge some of the myths and misconceptions about Islam and Muslim ways of life.
The programs and services offered here at Academy Alive and high-profile events such as tonight’s Iftar are an important part of that process of public education. They remind us that the people of our State trace their origins to many different countries, speak many different languages, and have many different customs and beliefs.
They also help remind us that Muslims have been part of Australian history for a very long time. Indonesian fishermen were collecting trepang in our northern waters at least 500 years ago; Muslim cameleers helped create the legend of the Outback 200 years ago; and Brisbane has had its own mosque for over 110 years.
In making more Queenslanders aware of this longstanding contribution to Australia, the Muslim community today is helping to create a more inclusive, cohesive and compassionate society. As Governor, I am grateful for that.
Thank you again for your warm welcome this evening, for your ongoing commitment and generous service to the community, and for the contribution you continue to make to our State.