Brisbane 2032 Fundraising Luncheon | Portfolio Minister for Health and Aged Care – Australian Government Department of Health | Region & Cash

Media event date:

July 22, 2022

Release date:

July 23, 2022

Audience:

general public

E&OE TRANSCRIPTION

Thank you for inviting me to be with you today.

I acknowledge the traditional owners and stewards of the lands where we meet today, the Turrbal and Yuggera peoples. Together we stand on the shoulders of 1,600 generations of First Nations people and this is our common history.

I express this appreciation and respect to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are here today; and I want to recognize the 60 First Nations Olympians and 16 First Nations Paralympians who have represented our country.

May I also acknowledge: the Queensland Prime Minister, the Lord Mayor, Olympians and Paralympians and the inspiring young athletes who are here today, Ian Chesterman, Catherine Clarke, members of the OCOG Board, Jen Williams, our host today, and the Property Council ofAustralia. All my local state and government colleagues who made themselves available for lunch today. And you – supporters of world-class sport in Australia.

I could not have imagined a better time for the post of Federal Minister of Sport. And under my constant stewardship, Queensland has never lost an Origin series. And I can’t tell you how excited I am to be standing here with the green and gold runway stretching out in front of us.

Growing up watching Clarke and Dawe’s mockumentary The Games with my family, I never thought I would educate myself on the guard rails of my future professional life. A cultural catchphrase…that I’ve used in my eight weeks on the job so far, when I get together for the games, when I hear about the master plan and ask about the length of the run and I’m told, “Minister…it’s about 100 metres.” .”

Ten years from now, Brisbane, the city we love, will host the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games. My daughter will be the same age as I will be at the Sydney Olympics. I remember everyone was so excited at school that week and this mom had us have a fancy picnic dinner on a rug in front of the TV to watch the commencement ceremony. That was a pretty big deal because we absolutely weren’t allowed to eat on the carpet.

And I remember being so jealous of Nikki Webster that we were about the same age because she got to fly around the stadium among giant neon sea creatures. And now as a parent, I wonder how many times Nikki Webster’s mom checked the bungee strap and if she was ever honored for her nerves of steel and dedication to the cause. By the time we reach 2032, all Australian children will have had a number of opportunities to experience world-class competitive sport right here at home.

This week I had the privilege of meeting some of our mighty Matildas and beginning the one-year countdown to the FIFA Women’s World Cup, which will be held for the first time in the Southern Hemisphere and with an expected global audience of one billion people. My hope is that by 2032 we will have several Olympic sports with women’s teams that are as popular as the Matildas.

This runway is also a great opportunity to affirm the place of sport in our nation’s psyche and to inspire a new generation of athletes. The next 10 years will create significant socio-economic benefits that will last for generations and help propel Australia’s recovery from COVID-19.

I, as Minister of Sport, and the Albanian Labor Government are here with you on the green and gold runway because we recognize the tremendous opportunity it presents to achieve our national priorities.

These include economic recovery, trade and tourism, diplomacy (particularly in the South Pacific), competitive sport, participation in community sport, health care, social inclusion and cohesion.

Our investment in sport is about engaging more Australians, bringing communities together, boosting the economy and helping our elite athletes excel on the global stage. We recognize the importance of ensuring that sport is safe, fair and inclusive so that every Australian can feel the rush that only sport can bring.

The Australian Olympic Committee, Paralympics Australia and the Brisbane 2032 Games partners, in partnership with the Property Council of Australia, today brought together some of the biggest names in Australian sport and business to discuss how it will benefit Brisbane, Queensland and Australia can opportunity for Olympic and Paralympic Games. You and your organizations will bring skills and support critical to taking advantage of this opportunity – an intergenerational opportunity – to demonstrate the value and economic benefits of sport.

But the main focus of the green and gold runway will, of course, be the athletes – the people whose pursuit of excellence drives us all. What does it mean for an athlete to compete on the world stage here at home? Well I’m a ParkRunner so I have no idea and there are a lot of Olympians in this room so I’ll bow to them.

As two-time Olympic kayaker Aly (Alyssa) Bull put it, β€œIt’s so hard to describe, there’s nothing quite like it. It’s one of the biggest events you can ever attend as an athlete. That’s what everyone is working towards. And it’s going to be quite epic that everyone in your Brisbane support network can be so close together. It’s going to be pretty special.

Olympians cannot do what they do without many people helping them. The unsung chorus of many Australian Olympians are our volunteers. Our sports sector would not exist without the support of the 2.9 million Australians who take care of our people, our fields, our games. They are the lifeblood of Australian sport.

The Australian Sports Commission, led by Josephine and Kieren, who are here today, has led the development of the Sport Volunteer Coalition, made up of representatives from sport, the Australian Government and industry associations. This is important because over the next ten years our sports sector will need an additional 130,000 volunteers. For the people of this room, our management of the green and gold runway will be critical to that success.

When the Sydney 2000 Games were announced, Australia had seven years to prepare. And history tells us that the organizers got these games pretty right. They were an unprecedented success. This time we have 10 years – we have a golden opportunity – a green and gold opportunity – to dare I say Premier to make these games even better than Sydney. I look forward to working closely with you as key partners in continuing to nurture our national sporting history and culture.

Aligning our sport, infrastructure and communities to leave the best legacy possible – a healthy, active and sporting post-pandemic Australia. Many Thanks.

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