Queensland's Literary Talent dinner
The Honourable Justice Thomas Bradley; some of our State’s brightest literary talents and your partners; ladies and gentlemen, welcome all to Government House.
I begin by acknowledging the Traditional Owners of the lands around Brisbane, the Turrbal and Jagera people, and by paying my respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.
Graeme and I are delighted that you have all been able to join us tonight to celebrate Queensland writers and writing.
You are part of rich and varied ecosystem that extends deep into communities everywhere in our State. It’s evident in our schools, libraries, booksellers and book clubs; in magazines, newspapers, and scripts for television and movies; in editors, illustrators, and publishers – and every part of the ecosystem needs nourishment to survive and thrive.
Fortunately for us, the Children’s Book Council of Australia, almost 80 years ago, launched a marvellous initiative that continues to sustain that ecosystem today – the Children’s Book of the Year Awards.
I’m particularly pleased that we have been able to host tonight’s dinner during Children’s Book Week. It’s that time of year when Australian children dress as their favourite literary character and scour the shelves, looking for books bearing that Children’s Book Council of Australia sticker.
In fact, tonight we have the 2023 recipient of the Nan Chauncy Award with us, Ms Jenny Stubbs. The Award, announced last week, honours individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the field of Australian children’s literature. Congratulations and thank you for joining us this evening, Jenny.
Many of you will have done the same thing as children and now, as writers, editors, publishers, booksellers, educators, advocates, and entrepreneurs you are making a vital contribution to developing new generations of readers and to maintaining that ecosystem of writers and writing.
When I was sworn in as Governor, almost two years ago now, among the promises I made to the people of Queensland was that I would promote literacy, especially among Indigenous children and young girls.
As part of that commitment, one of the initiatives we took here at Government House was to publish a children’s picture book – A Place for All Queenslanders.
It is always a great pleasure to read that book to children when I visit schools, and to leave a copy with their Principal for the school library, but whatever small contribution we have been able to make is dwarfed by what you all do, every day, to inform, challenge, excite and inspire readers of all ages.
On behalf of all Queenslanders, I thank you for that – long may you continue!