The Royal Historical Society of Queensland launch of 'Captain Cook in Queensland'
Representing the Mayor of Cook Shire Council, Councillor Marilyn Morris; The Royal Historical Society of Queensland President, Dr Denver Beanland AM; immediate Past President, Mr Stephen Sheaffe and Manager, Ms Katrina Rose; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen.
I begin by acknowledging the original custodians of the lands around Brisbane, the Turrbal and Jagera people, and extend respectful greetings to Elders, past, present and emerging, including any First Nations people here today.
As Patron, I was very pleased to accept the invitation to be with you this morning to launch the latest addition to the impressive catalogue of publications the Society has produced.
Graeme and I were also delighted, earlier this morning, to be able to explore the Society’s Museum and Queensland’s oldest and most significant heritage building with your President as our very knowledgeable guide. Thank you, Denver.
As the current residents of another of our State’s historic buildings, both Graeme and I are enthusiastic advocates for the preservation of our historical built environment, but we also share the Society’s commitment to examining and revealing the history that produced that heritage.
Of all the events that have influenced the trajectory of history in our State, it’s arguable that none was more significant than Lieutenant James Cook’s voyage up the east coast of Australia and his encounter with the Indigenous communities of what is now Cooktown.
I commend the Society on its decision to embrace the challenge of telling the difficult story arising from that first encounter by, first, convening two important symposia and then, producing the 35 resultant papers in this book.
It is an important publication, and I congratulate John Pearn and Stephen Sheaffe for convening those conferences in 2020 and 2021, and congratulate Rod Kirkpatrick, Margaret Kowald, Ruth Kerr and Val Donovan on their tireless work as Editors.
We are at a time in our history as a nation when, more than ever, we are seeking to come to terms with, and accept the impact, that European explorers and settlers had on our First Nations communities. This book is part of the truth-telling that we all hope will ultimately lead to reconciliation. Certainly, the annual re-enactment of the first, peaceful encounter on the banks of what is now the Endeavour River is a hopeful beginning.
Governors of this State have supported The Royal Historical Society of Queensland since the very beginning, in August 1913 when Sir William MacGregor, our 11th Governor, chaired the meeting to inaugurate the Society.
It now gives me great pleasure, as the 27th Governor, to launch Captain Cook in Queensland and present you with this Certificate of Vice-Regal Patronage. Thank you again for the work you all do to preserve and help us understand the story of Queensland.
I now invite your President, Dr Denver Beanland to accept this certificate.