The Queensland Country Women’s Association 100th State Conference
Leader of the Opposition, Mr David Crisafulli MP, Member for Toowoomba South, Mr David Janetzki MP, Toowoomba Regional Council Mayor, Councillor Geoff McDonald and Councillors; Queensland Country Women’s Association State President, Mrs Sheila Campbell; Distinguished guests, Ladies and gentlemen.
I too begin by acknowledging the Traditional Owners of the lands on which we are gathering, and pay my respects to Elders past, present and emerging, and to all First Nations people here today.
I’ll begin by saying my thoughts and concerns are with those affected by the terrible bushfires around this region in recent days, as I’m sure are those of all Queenslanders.
There are likely people in this room who know someone who is impacted, or indeed have been directly impacted themselves. We hope you are holding up, staying safe and receiving the support you need.
What an absolute delight and honour it is to be here with you today for the 100th State Conference of the Queensland Country Women’s Association.
Congratulations to all involved in the convening of the conference and welcome to the many, many attendees.
As Governor, and as Patron of Queensland Country Women’s Association, I am indeed proud of the purposeful work that members continue to do in supporting Queensland women, particularly those in rural and regional areas.
Thank you for another year of outstanding and selfless service to our communities.
The theme of the conference, What would Ruth say …?, is so very apt.
To hark back to this incredible trailblazer for advice on the way forward is to align the organisation to the very foundational principles established all those decades ago.
These principles have stood the test of time and held the QCWA in fine stead through the years, including periods of immense change, disruption and uncertainty.
Ruth was evidently a woman with vast reserves of energy and resourcefulness, a quintessential countrywoman who after moving to country Queensland from New South Wales at the turn of the last century immersed herself in community activities.
Looking around today, I see a room full of people who strive to emulate this drive and devotion to community wellbeing.
And just as Ruth’s influence ultimately extended across our State, so too does the influence of Queensland CWA branches and their members in the present day.
Such is the impact of programs such as Country Kitchens in promoting healthy lifestyles for all Queenslanders with effective, no-nonsense advice and tips on food preparation.
Not too many organisations can lay claim to a 100-year heritage, so it is obvious that your influence has endured, as has your dedication and commitment to the women and communities you serve, and for that offer a heartfelt thanks on behalf of all Queenslanders.
What would Ruth say? I believe it might be something along the lines of, ‘continue to advocate strongly on behalf of Queensland women, continue to support each other, and continue to harness your collective interests for positive change, and you will continue to improve lives throughout Queensland’.
In doing so you carry on Ruth’s legacy. And that’s worth celebrating.