The Victoria League Brisbane for Commonwealth Friendship and The Order of Australia Association Queensland Platinum Jubilee Gala Dinner
Thank you, Ms Noela O’Donnell AM for your kind introduction.
Member for Maroochydore, the Honourable Fiona Simpson MP; Commanding Officer of HMAS Moreton, Royal Australian Navy, Commander Fiona Southwood RAN; Dean of St John’s Anglican Church and Chaplain of the Victoria Leagues Club, The Very Reverend Dr Peter Catt; Chairman of the Victoria League Club, Dr Dimitri Kopanakis; Chairman of the Order of Australia, Dr Gary Bacon AM; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen. Good evening.
As on all formal occasions, but particularly today, after a week when we have renewed our focus on the importance of reconciliation, I acknowledge the Jagera and Turrbal peoples, the original custodians of the lands of Brisbane and pay my respect to all First Nations Elders, past, present and emerging.
Graeme and I are delighted to be here tonight for this dual celebration, commemorating both the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty The Queen and her official 96th birthday.
It is a great honour for me, as Governor of Queensland, to represent our truly remarkable sovereign in this State and to be here tonight as Vice-Regal Patron of the two host organisations – the Brisbane chapter of the Victoria League for Commonwealth Friendship and the Queensland branch of the Order of Australia Association.
In the short time since my appointment as Queensland’s 27th Governor, I have developed great respect for the work done by these two organisations to build the friendship and mutual understanding which are essential to community cohesion here in Australia, and to the achievement of cooperation and peace around the world.
The founding ideal of the Victoria League remains as relevant today as it was more than 120 years ago at the height of the Boer War. The war that didn’t end all wars and the many other conflicts that have succeeded it have all demonstrated just how vital it is to continue to strive for peace by fostering fellowship, strong communities and international understanding.
Similarly, The Order of Australia Association remains focused on the founding principles established in 1975 when Her Majesty The Queen instituted the Order, and is dedicated to acknowledging those who are helping build a more cohesive and resilient Australia through giving back to their communities and to the nation.
The overarching theme which runs through the histories of these two organisations and many of the others represented here tonight is service; so it is fitting to be celebrating the 70 years of exceptional service to the Commonwealth given by our Queen, and to join with 53 other Commonwealth nations (and almost a third of the world’s population) to celebrate her Platinum Jubilee.