Reception in support of the 27th YMCA Queensland Youth Parliament
YMCA Brisbane Chief Executive Officer, Mr Damian Foley; Youth Governor of Queensland, Ms Portia Allison; YMCA Queensland Youth Parliament Members and Supporters; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen.
I begin by acknowledging the original custodians of the lands around Brisbane, the Turrbal and Jagera people, and extend respectful greetings to Elders, past, present and emerging.
It is my great pleasure, as Governor of Queensland, to welcome you here this evening.
As we emerge from a period of great mourning for Queen Elizabeth the Second, who gave so much of herself to this State and its people over the course of her 70-year reign, it is certainly uplifting to surround ourselves with such an engaged, optimistic and future-focussed group.
It is also a wonderful opportunity for Graeme and me to hear from you, as Youth Members of the YMCA Queensland Youth Parliament, on issues of interest and concern to your generation.
We are certainly already aware of the YMCA’s efforts in such areas as youth education and empowerment.
We also greatly admire its focus on issues such as affordable housing and social enterprise, and such endeavours as helping millions of school children reach their potential simply by ensuring they have a proper breakfast before class.
I assure you this good work is not going unnoticed.
I should note that during my first official regional visit as Governor, Mr Speaker invited me to attend the Rockhampton Youth Parliament – another great initiative for Year 5 and 6 students from Rockhampton and surrounding regions.
There is of course, something very distinctive about YMCA’s Queensland Youth Parliament – it is run for young people, by young people!
To see a program run so well, and with such wide reach, is impressive enough – but to know that young Queenslanders are holding the reins makes me so very proud.
While the program helps young Queenslanders to better understand the inner workings of our democratic system, it also importantly provides them with a voice to raise issues of concern to them.
The benefits and outputs of a program such as this cannot be understated - giving a voice to our youth is imperative, just as it is important to utilise your energy and new ideas to help us move forward.
I congratulate all Youth Members, and members of the executive team, your successes and achievements will no doubt propel you into your professional lives.
I also thank the State Council of YMCAs of Queensland, the Queensland Government and the Queensland Parliamentary Service for their ongoing support of this program.
Graeme and I wish you well during your Residential program and expect nothing less than vigorous – but of course courteous – debate in the Chamber.
Youth members, you are the future; please ensure that you use your voice to have a say on what that future will look like.
Each of you is exceptional, and I am proud to see that such robust young Queenslanders will be leading us in the future.
Thank you, and please enjoy the hospitality of Government House.