Tomorrow marks the start of Queensland Week, as we here celebrate 157 years of Statehood this week.
The ‘birth’ of Queensland as a separate colony in its own right, began with a public meeting in 1851 with many of the colony’s finest agitating for recognition of the region as separate from New South Wales.
From that point, the push began and 8 long years later, it was successful.
Queen Victoria established us as a separate entity, based on Moreton Bay, with her Royal approval and she signed the Letters Patent on 6 June 1859.
We nearly weren’t known as Queensland but Queen Victoria has the final call and not surprisingly, she favoured the name Queensland over suggestions to call it Cooksland in honour of Captain James Cook.
It was on 20 July of that year that Sir George Ferguson Bowen was named as our first Governor.
A highlight of Queensland Week will be the prestigious Queensland Greats Awards which will be announced in Brisbane by the Premier sometime this week. (As late as this afternoon the Premiers’ office cannot tell us exactly when, this week, the announcement will occur. They assure us it will happen).
These prestigious awards recognise and honour extraordinary individuals and organisations who have all displayed incredible achievements and a lifelong dedication to our state.
This year the posthumous category will again be included to honour individuals who have made an exceptional impact on our state.
The Queensland Greats recipients will be recognised with commemorative plaques displayed at Roma Street Parkland, Brisbane with the Awards program offering a total prize pool of $25,000 across five categories: Business, Education, Community, Partnership and an overall Premier’s Reconciliation Award.
So, this week, take a moment to puff out the chest and be proud of our place-And don’t just say, “Queenslander”…Shout “Well Done Queenslander”.