Last night I found myself at Government House attending a cocktail reception along with other authors and dignitaries invited by the Governor of Queensland, Dr Jeanette Young AC PSM in celebration of Book Week 2022. Her Excellency gave a warm speech about books and the importance of literacy – something close to my heart knowing recent generations of women and men in my own family were denied schooling due to being poor and other circumstances, especially the girls. Every day when I sit at my desk to write, I’m conscious of how fortunate I am to do what I love and to have had the opportunity of school and university, that at times when I was young, I took for granted regrettably, as I’m so grateful for it now.
It was a lovely event and I can happily say that Her Excellency approached me for a personal chat, especially about, Joe’s Fruit Shop and Milk Bar, and I thanked her for her difficult work during the pandemic, for which she was very modest. As well, it was really great to meet and chat to other authors from all different genres and backgrounds.
Unfortunately there were no photos allowed inside Government House but Roger took this one of me out front before we all went in. I was trying to recall the spot where Nonno Anni stood outside Government House in 1977 when he received a British Empire Medal for help and support to the migrant community. I didn’t quite get the exact spot but I have to laugh at the two photos, as obviously we were both battling bright sun and it was breezy – not the greatest shot for either of us (Nanna Francesca even got the camera strap in his! – smiling). The funny thing is, by chance it just happens to be 45 years since Nonno Anni received that honour at Government House, so it’s a nice serendipity to be there on the anniversary of it.