The COVID-19 crisis has provided many lessons. One of the most important has been the value of working together at local, State and Federal levels. The South-East Queensland 2032 Olympics and Paralympic Games presents a unique opportunity to build on these collaborations. The current crisis has also highlighted the importance, in both public health and beyond, of ensuring that all members of our community are included in plans for the future.

2032 will be the first Olympic and Paralympic Games hosted by a region, not a city. That provides a great advantage, as we can bring the resources and capabilities of our local universities to the immense challenges of the Games. Our universities each have unique strengths and areas of expertise, and collectively provide scale and critical mass to address the more vexing issues confronting the many diverse communities of Queensland. We can work together to maximise the benefits of the Games for all Queenslanders, including our young people.

Our community vision needs to extend beyond our shores, into the wider region. Griffith University was a core partner for the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast. Perhaps our most important contribution was our support for the development of the GAPS program (Gather, Adjust, Prepare, Sustain) as a legacy event to promote elite sports development for athletes and para-athletes for emerging and disadvantaged nations. This partnership resulted in two countries receiving their first ever Commonwealth Games medals.

In the near term, our challenge as a State is to plan and execute well the fundamentals; facilities, data infrastructure; access points for athletes and spectators and the community. This plan needs to explicitly address the variety of communities that make up Australia: we must ensure that all groups are consulted and brought along the journey. We must celebrate and highlight the contributions of all our communities, including importantly the First Peoples of Australia, so we can show the world the richness of this State.

Our universities stand ready to work with government, business and community groups on everything from training our future athletes to research on every aspect of the impact of the Games, to creating great opportunities for students to undertake internships and volunteer roles. We look forward to helping to ensure that the legacy of the Games is one that all Queenslanders can benefit from.