World Down Syndrome Day 2022 Afternoon Tea
Member for Lytton, Ms Joan Pease; Member for Clayfield, Mr Tim Nichols; Member for Surfers Paradise, Mr John Paul Langbroek; Councillor David McLachlan; Chairperson of Down Syndrome Queensland, Mr David Fuller; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen; girls and boys.
I begin by acknowledging the traditional custodians of the lands around Brisbane, the Turrbal and Jagera peoples, and extend respectful greetings to Elders, past, present and emerging.
Graeme and I welcome you to Government House this afternoon as we join the many others around the globe who are also observing World Down Syndrome Day 2022.
This is the first time I have been part of this special event in my roles as Governor and Patron of Down Syndrome Queensland, and I am extremely proud to be sharing it with you.
I am especially delighted that we are hosting this occasion here, because I firmly believe Government House belongs to all Queenslanders.
This is a place where we should recognise and appreciate our unique differences, and demonstrate how these differences make our State stronger and much more vibrant.
Today we are celebrating the remarkable achievements and contributions of those with Down syndrome, but at the same time striving to shape a more equitable future.
This year’s World Down Syndrome Day theme encourages us to ask the question, “What does inclusion mean?”
This is an extremely complex question to answer, because many voices and experiences need to be heard and understood before effective change can occur.
What is fundamental, however, is that everyone should have the chance to follow their dreams and passions, to be involved in interesting work and engaging activities, and to connect with others in all aspects of our society.
I know this is something all of you believe in and are fighting hard for.
Your outstanding leadership is truly inspiring and takes enormous courage.
You are showing others what is possible, and I commend you for using your individual talents and strengths to benefit other Queenslanders.
We are truly fortunate that Down Syndrome Queensland has worked diligently, for over 45 years, to help us tackle the big issues, while at the same time offering tangible, everyday support for people with Down syndrome, and their families.
What I really admire is how the organisation actively encourages and utilises the opinions of those it is helping.
By collaborating with the amazing members of the Queensland Down Syndrome Advisory Network—some of whom are with us today—the organisation is ensuring that the decisions made are reflective of what is most important and relevant to the people who have this genetic condition.
Graeme and I thank the Board, management and staff of Down Syndrome Queensland for being such a valuable force in our State.
I also pay tribute to the long-standing donors, supporters and volunteers, together with the loyal founding members, who underpin the strength of the organisation.
It now gives me great pleasure to now present a Certificate of Patronage to Down Syndrome Queensland’s Chairperson, Mr David Fuller.
Thank you, and we look forward to learning more about the vital work you do over the course of this reception.