Reception in Support of the Queensland Academy of Arts and Sciences
Queensland Academy of Arts and Sciences Vice-President, Professor Robina Xavier; Vice-President, People and Culture, Emeritus Professor Frederick D’Agostino, Academy Council Members, Fellows and staff; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen.
I begin by acknowledging the Traditional Owners of the lands around Brisbane, the Turrbal and Jagera people, and pay my respects to Elders past, present and emerging, and to any First Nations people here this afternoon.
Graeme and I are honoured to welcome you to Government House in support of the Queensland Academy of Arts and Sciences as it welcomes its new Fellows aboard.
The addition of new Fellows is always exciting as it expands the reach of such an excellent organisation and ensures the interdisciplinary connections, exchanges and inspirational outcomes – so foundational to the Academy – will continue.
As patron of the Academy, and Governor of Queensland, that approach makes me very excited for the future of our State.
The motto of the Academy, ‘Thinking Together – Acting Together', sums up the original, and continuing ambition outlined by Dr John O’Hagan, that open dialogue between disciplines and individual experts in their fields could conjure a much more innovative and transformational attitude to a range of issues that we currently face, not to mention those we don’t even know about yet.
Being himself very familiar with the benefits of interdisciplinary collaboration, it made good sense to him that many more benefits could ensue for our communities if a meeting of the minds could be fostered.
Discovery comes from the cross-fertilisation of ideas, and for that to happen, there needs to be communication that can elicit “the sunburst of the idea”, as cited by the novelist J B Priestly.
In one person’s vision, many other visions became apparent. With an ambition to ‘create an Academy with a broad focus; one which bridged the arts and the sciences, not restricting itself to either and which forged connections between them and their experts’, Dr O’Hagan reimagined the academic space.
Even in our ordinary lives, we often refer to the adage that two heads are better than one. Imagine then, what can be achieved with the confluence of many learned heads from different spheres of influence. That is what you have signed up for, and we are grateful for it.
In conjunction with your colleagues from the Academy here this afternoon, I welcome you to this auspicious group. Before we all enjoy some Government House hospitality, I would like to present a Patronage Certificate to Vice-President Professor Robina Xavier.