Rose planting ceremony and unveiling of the Platinum Jubilee Drinking Fountain
To our valued current and former staff and volunteers of the Office of the Governor, welcome. Graeme and I are so pleased you could join us this morning for our annual Alumni morning tea.
I respectfully acknowledge the original custodians of the lands around Brisbane, the Turrbal and Jagera people, and pay respect to their Elders – past, present, and emerging.
I would like to begin by acknowledging you all – the invaluable contributions and support you have offered this Office and your collective stewardship of this beautiful estate. Thank you. It is wonderful to have you all here.
This morning it is my honour to plant the seventeenth rose here in the Government House rose rockeries. It will join the roses of the sixteen Governors to have resided here at Fernberg before me.
Roses first became a feature of Vice-Regal life in Brisbane when the wife of Lord Chelmsford, our tenth governor, imported no fewer than five hundred rose bushes from France for the gardens of Old Government House.
When Fernberg became Government House, the roses were simply transplanted — and in defiance of the poor soil and tropical climate, the tradition has continued ever since.
Today, it is with great pride that I plant my Governor’s Rose – the fittingly named Sunshine Rose, and a perfect choice for me for several reasons.
With its golden yellow hue, it sings to both the gold of Australia and the warmth of a sunny Queensland day. A Sunshine Rose for the Sunshine State, whose warm weather lured me to Rockhampton over Ballarat back in 1994. Like me, this particular rose is also bred for the Queensland climate!
Yellow roses are also known for their hardiness and are symbolic of optimism and joy. During my recent visits to several regions impacted by devastating floods, and in meeting with Queenslanders who have suffered terribly as a result, I have been constantly in awe of the resilience of people in our State. This Sunshine Rose will serve as a permanent reminder to me of the unwavering optimism of Queenslanders and their courage in the face of adversity.
Today is a particularly special day as in about an hour’s time we will throw open the gates to Government House and invite our community to join us in celebrating Her Majesty’s The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
Following the planting of my rose, I am excited to unveil another new addition to the Fernberg estate gardens, the Platinum Jubilee Drinking Fountain, commemorating this historic milestone. It will offer welcome replenishment to visitors at the growing number of open events, picnics and walks we are hosting at Government House to encourage a healthy and active State and open the estate grounds to more Queenslanders.
Thank you all for being a part of this special ceremony this morning, and I invite you to stay and enjoy our Open Day.