Rockhampton Community Welcome Reception
Assistant Minister and Member for Keppel, Ms Brittany Lauga; Mayor, Cr Tony Williams; CQUniversity Vice-Chancellor, Professor Nick Klomp; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen; girls and boys, especially from local Schools – we are so honoured you could join us.
I acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands around Rockhampton, the Darumbal people, and extend greetings to Elders, past, present and emerging.
Graeme and I are delighted to be in Rockhampton, a city which is very close to my heart.
When I moved here from Sydney with my young daughter in the 1990s, the people of Rockhampton showed me genuine care and consideration.
This evening, I stand before you both as the 27th Governor of Queensland, and as a proud former Rockhampton resident, keen to serve and support the region that once served and supported me.
The decision to make this place the focus of my first official regional trip was easy – you truly exemplify what makes Queensland and Queenslanders so special.
As I said – less than a month ago – in my official swearing-in speech, coming here then was “the best decision of my life”.
Although I am now no longer actively involved in the medical field, the health and wellbeing of Queenslanders remains one of my top priorities.
In this goal, I join two earlier Governors who were also doctors – Sir William MacGregor and Sir John Goodwin – and I also uphold a long vice-regal tradition of Governors and their spouses in advocating for the continued betterment of facilities and services in this region.
In fact, back in April 1931, Rockhampton’s new maternity hospital was named after one of these former trailblazers – Lady Goodwin – honouring her valuable service to the women and children of the State.
While sadly that building is no longer standing, I am pleased that once I leave Rockhampton, I will have visited four of your public health facilities, including the Rockhampton Hospital, as part of my quest to visit every public hospital in Queensland.
During my time in Central Queensland, I am also looking forward to meeting people in the Woorabinda and Baralaba communities, and to reading a new Government House picture book to the children at local schools.
Improving literacy is also one of my key passions and I will do all I can to further this cause, so that all Queenslanders are given the opportunities that advanced reading and writing bring.
My program here is busy, but I relish the chance I to talk to the people who make the Rockhampton region thrive… and I look forward to meeting a meerkat or two at your brilliant Zoo!
Every one of you here this evening, and those in your schools, health centres, emergency services, local businesses, not-for-profits, and on the land, are contributing to ensuring the CQ region stays strong.
I know – from personal experience – it is the people who make this place so exceptional.
Thank you again for making Graeme and me feel so welcome.