Jeannette Young was sworn in as governor of Queensland

Jeannette Young was sworn in as the 27th governor of Queensland, after ending 16 years as the state’s chief public health officer yesterday.

She is the fourth woman to fill this role.

Distinguished guests seated at Speaker’s Green in the Houses of Parliament were greeted with the Australian anthem and cultural performance by members of the Aboriginal Center for the Performing Arts.

Dr Young took the oath of allegiance and office as part of the ceremony, sincerely pledging to be “of true allegiance” to Queen Elizabeth II and her heirs and successors as required by law.

The signing of a proclamation was followed by a marching band performed by the Australian Army Group Brisbane and a 19-gun Viceroyal Salute began.

Dr Young said she was “deeply aware” of the “immense honor and responsibility” of her appointment.

“I am here today as very proud of Queensland,” she said.

She spoke of being taken in by a supportive community when she moved to Rockhampton in 1994.

“The qualities that made me feel so welcome back then are the same qualities that have kept the Queenslanders safe for the past 18 months.

“The people of Queensland look out for each other, they are generous in spirit and are pragmatic without complaint.

“Like the two other doctors appointed governor of Queensland before me – Sir William MacGregor and Sir John Goodwin – my career has been built on gathering information, listening and acting in the name of the common good.”

She pledged to travel extensively throughout the state and to be governor of “all of Queensland”.

“My other priorities as governor are to promote literacy, especially for indigenous children and young girls, to encourage a healthy and active Queensland and to visit all public hospitals throughout my tenure.

“I am so impressed with all of the healthcare workers and emergency service personnel in our state – they are truly amazing people.”

Justice Paul of Jersey agreed earlier this year to extend his tenure so that Dr Young can continue to lead Queensland throughout the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

A former Chief Justice of Queensland, the Justice of Jersey had served as Governor of Queensland since July 2014.

He and his wife, Kaye, bade farewell on a parade in Brisbane earlier this morning, receiving a royal salute before leaving Government House for the last time under police escort.

Outgoing Governor Paul of Jersey and his wife Kaye of Jersey bid farewell at the farewell ceremony.(PAA: Jono Searle)

Dignitaries – including Chief Justice Catherine Holmes, Australian Defense Force Chief Angus Campbell and Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk – were present at Dr Young’s official swearing-in ceremony.

Ms Palaszczuk gave a congratulatory speech, saying the Green Parliament was “familiar territory” for both of them.

“You and I have stayed here several times over the past 20 months. Our practice was simple – every morning you briefed me on the latest developments in the pandemic and then we briefed Queensland,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“I know how much the people of this state appreciated it. As the Queensland Director of Health, your attitude at the bedside was calm and straightforward. Leading us through this dark time has meant tremendous pressure, nights white and a tide of information that you have handled calmly and clinically, with compassion and care.

“This crowns a life dedicated to public health and 16 years as director of health.

“We will never know how many lives you have saved.

“As you travel through the state your reputation will precede you. Queensland knows you. They hold you in the greatest esteem and affection.”

Opposition leader David Crisafulli said at the ceremony that the governor’s role goes beyond simply being the monarch’s representative in Queensland.

“The strength of the governorship depends not only on personal qualities – dedication, hard work and commitment – but also qualities of impartiality and bipartisanship.”

“Your Excellency brings a distinct perspective to this office – as a physician and as a professional with a distinguished public record, you have already served the Queensland community in many capacities. Few would have encountered the challenges you have encountered over the years. Last 18 years. Months. “

“This period has demonstrated your commitment to the people of this state and their well-being.”

In a letter to Queenslanders on Sunday, Dr Young said it had been an “absolute honor” to be the chief public health officer and described the trip as difficult, rewarding and, at times, stressful.

She highlighted the halving of the rate of adults who smoke each day in Queensland and the increase in the childhood immunization rate from 77% to almost 95% as the accomplishments she was most proud of.

Saying that she was ‘first and foremost a doctor’, Dr Young also once again urged people in Queensland to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Dr Jeannette Young smiles as she walks through the Gold Coast University Hospital.
Dr Young said it was “an absolute honor” to be the state’s chief public health officer.(AAP: Nigel Hallett)


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