Premier says our new Governor “could not be more Queensland”
DESPITE being sworn in with much pomp and fanfare, Governor Paul de Jersey delivered a humble speech about promoting togetherness and visiting every corner of Queensland.
Mr de Jersey - who spent his childhood in the Lockyer Valley, Kingaroy, Maryborough and Longreach - pledged to "visit the people of all communities within the state" while he was Governor.
He arrived at Parliament House amid motorcycle escort, signed the oath of allegiance and a proclamation, and then paused for a 19-gun salute which could be heard across Brisbane's CBD.
"I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the second as lawful sovereign of Australia and to her heirs and successors according to law and I will well and truly serve Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the second," he said.
Mr de Jersey is 26th person in 154 years to assume the position, taking over from Penelope Wensley.
He told the crowd of dignitaries that he was "an unremittingly proud Queenslander" but he assumed the office with a sense of humility and in a spirit of service.
"Apart from constitutional responsibilities, and important ceremonial and civic duties, my other essential goals, as I see them, will be to seek to support, encourage and inspire all Queenslanders; and to do all I can to uphold and promote the advancement of our great state, and thereby the welfare of our people," he said.
"My wife Kaye joins me enthusiastically in embracing these challenges.
"We have over our years travelled extensively throughout this state of which we are so fond, especially over my last 16 years as Chief Justice, and we have been privileged to meet many fine and inspiring people.
"Now we look forward to the pleasure and privilege of meeting many more."
Premier Campbell Newman said Mr de Jersey was "uniquely qualified" for the governor's role after a lifetime of public service and achievement at the highest level.
He said Mr de Jersey's upbringing "could not be more Queensland".
"As Chief Justice for 16 years from 1998, our new Governor oversaw the justice system in Queensland through significant transformation - administrative, technological and cultural," he said.
"Despite his busy schedule, the Chief Justice found time to give back to the community.
"Modern Queenslanders expect and want their governors to be of the people.
"As a son of school teacher parents, His Excellency spent his early years in a great cross-section of regional Queensland."
Opposition leader Annastacia Palaszczuk said Mr de Jersey accepted the job as Chief Justice for the whole state and "made a habit as a judge of sitting on cases throughout Queensland".
She said the governor's charity work while he was Chief Justice showed an "unshakeable commitment to the matters that affect many Queenslanders throughout our great state".
"What is lesser known is your passion and commitment to indigenous Queenslanders," she said.
"Your legacy of service as Chief Justice and now as Governor will stand on its own."
Mr de Jersey told the crowd he hoped his service as the Queen's representative would "be characterised by a spirit of reconciliation and togetherness".
He was appointed to the judiciary in 1985, aged 36 years.
His subsequent 29-year judicial career included many circuit sittings in centres including Mount Isa, Longreach, Roma, Toowoomba, Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Rockhampton, Bundaberg, Maryborough and Southport.