Rhodes Scholarship Queensland Luncheon
Rhodes Scholarship Queensland Selection Committee and candidates; distinguished guests, welcome.
I begin by acknowledging the original custodians of the lands of Brisbane, the Turrbal and Jagera people, and extend respectful greetings to their Elders, past, present and emerging.
Graeme and I welcome you all to Government House for this special lunch to honour Queensland’s exceptional Rhodes Scholarship candidates for 2023.
As Patron and Chair of Rhodes Scholarship Queensland, I am so proud to support this visionary global program through the Rhodes Trust, which enables inspirational young people in our State to pursue their dreams, by being supported to further their studies at Oxford University.
Next year, The Rhodes Scholarship will celebrate its remarkable 120th anniversary. Over the years, of course, the Scholarship has adapted to the changing times—removing the early requirement for candidates to have secured a pass in Latin and Greek, and most significantly in the 1970s, opening it up to women—which are both, clearly, very welcome adjustments!
By being here today, you have already achieved incredible success, not only through your various academic endeavours, but by demonstrating the specific qualities it takes to qualify for consideration for this life-changing opportunity.
To me, one of the most significant aspects of this Scholarship is that it fosters diversity to drive positive change—embracing those outstanding individuals—from all backgrounds—who also have a deep sense of public responsibility to improve humanity and the world we share.
And while receiving a Rhodes Scholarship is prestigious—Oxford University has, after all, just been named the world’s top university for the 7th consecutive year—it is made even more impactful by the way it brings such like-minded people together.
This unity of purpose is what has defined The Rhodes Scholarship since it first began, but it is also what has resulted in all of you being here at Government House today.
Regardless of who is announced Queensland’s Rhodes Scholar for 2023 tomorrow, there is no doubt in my mind that you have all earned our State’s congratulations for your amazing efforts in your various fields, and for showing us what dedication, hard work and courage can achieve.
As Queensland’s young leaders, you will be the ones tackling the problems of the future, challenging the status quo and forging new, improved pathways for us all.
I am sure you will each make a lasting positive impression on our State and country, and also on the world, so I wish you every success tomorrow, and in your future careers.
Finally, I thank QUT for its commitment to administering the Queensland Rhodes Scholarship on behalf of all of our State’s universities.
I would like to take this opportunity to present a Certificate of Patronage, and now, I hope you all enjoy our famous Government House hospitality.