L-R: Sir John Grant KCMG (BG Group), Agent General Ken Smith and Peter Sargent (ANZ)
By Ken Smith, Agent General for Queensland and Trade and Investment Commissioner, Europe
HAVE you noticed that the weather in London last week was at last getting decidedly warmer? Maybe it was because Thursday 6 June in Australia House was transformed into a tropical oasis to celebrate Queensland Day. Pity it didn’t last beyond the weekend.
The night proved to be a celebratory reprieve for the Queenslanders from the earlier, rare State of Origin win by New South Wales. Rather than denying the loss, we came together to celebrate all things great about the Sunshine State, including our decisive wins in the series from 2006 each and every year up to and including 2012. So there are two more games in this series for us to reclaim our superiority over the cockroaches!
But to prove that we aren’t obsessed with Rugby League, those present reminisced on the importance of 6th June 1859 — the creation of Queensland and separation from the colony of New South Wales. This is when Queen Victoria signed the letters patent confirming Queensland as a separate and discrete colony.
In my speech on the night, I pointed out that originally, we were to be called ‘Cooksland’, obviously after Captain James Cook. But is doesn’t quite have that ring to it — I can’t see the crowds cheering “Go Cookslanders.”
Queensland was created, of course, to honor the then long serving monarch, Queen Victoria.
Around 220 guests enjoyed the tastes of Queensland including a selection of two beers made in Cairns from Blue Sky Brewery, Queensland wines and a delicious assortment of canapés made with Queensland beef supplied by JBS Global.
Guests also enjoyed the stunning surrounds of the Exhibition Hall at Australia House, decorated with reminders of home such as cuddly koalas, kangaroos and pineapples.
Sponsored by British Gas, ANZ Bank and Etihad, the night was a great success. Everyone reveled in images of the reef, the rainforest, the beaches and the outback.
Alex Louth from e-DBA was lucky enough to win two return business class airfares with Etihad to Queensland. Why wouldn’t he be smiling?
The great evening of networking reminded us all of the great Ganggajang lyrics ‘Out on the patio we’d sit, And the humidity we’d breath, We’d watch the lightning crack over canefields, Laugh and think, this is Australia’.
Contact the Queensland Office at:
Address: 392 Strand London WC2R 0LT
Linkedin: Friends of Queensland in Europe