Royal Queensland Show Flower and Garden Education Competition Awards Presentation 2023
RNA President, the Honourable Justice David Thomas and Mrs Jane Thomas; RNA Council Member and Chair of the Flower and Garden Committee, Mrs Robin McLay and Mr Scott McLay; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls.
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 today.
My husband, Graeme, and I are so pleased to be back at the Ekka, to present awards to this year’s very clever green thumbs in the Flower and Garden Competition!
Everyone loves the Ekka and the excitement it brings, but this wonderful event also gives us all the opportunity to learn so much about the importance of agriculture to our lives, now, and into the future. No wonder the Ekka’s referred to as “Queensland’s largest classroom!”
Whether you’ve helped to create a hairy Ekkapillar, built a Mini Farm, made the story of the “Drover” come alive as a scarecrow, or grown produce as a budding horticulturalist, I know that you have all put in enormous effort, so congratulations everyone!
These awards are a fantastic initiative, not just because they are great fun and spark creativity, but because they also encourage our young people to discover what goes into sowing and growing plants.
A tiny seed needs lots of love, time and care to sprout and thrive, and this means finding out about what plants need to be healthy and strong, and then paying close attention as they grow. It takes tremendous patience too, because sometimes there can be challenges and disappointments.
I am sure that being involved in this competition has made you more appreciative of all the incredible work our farmers and horticulturalists do to produce the fresh fruit and vegetables we eat, the beautiful flowers we admire, and the cotton for the clothes we wear.
As Patron of the RNA, I thank President, the Honourable Justice David Thomas, and the RNA team, for bringing us the magic of the Ekka, and for holding this very special competition.
I extend my appreciation to the teachers and adults who have encouraged their young people, and to the competition’s sponsor, Brunnings, who have again offered their generous assistance.
Graeme and I are looking forward to welcoming the winning School Scarecrow into our gardens at Government House, so our many visitors can discover more about the extraordinary story of Edna Jessop and her mustering journey across the outback.
Once again, well done to all of our young entrants for taking part, and for working together to grow and decorate some truly amazing creations.
Our warmest congratulations to those who will shortly be receiving certificates and ribbons.