On a more positive note, Cairns Regional Gallery was officially opened on 15 July 1995 and many people had cause to celebrate.
The journey has been a long one and has brought the people of Cairns together through the shared passion of art and a vision for the future.
The dream of a public art gallery for Cairns began to take shape in 1979. Over the next 16 years, it took the tenacious commitment of Cairns mayors, artists and members of the community to raise over $2 million to re-purpose the historic public curator's building into an award-winning gallery, hosting many outstanding and world-class exhibitions. It is a regional gallery that punches well above its weight.
The gallery's 20th anniversary next Saturday marks an exciting time for the gallery to embark on a range of new and ambitious collecting and program initiatives to improve its engagement with its diverse audiences.
It will also be a wonderful opportunity for people to promote the unique cultural heritage in Far North Queensland. I am certainly looking forward to going to this momentous occasion, with the director, Andrea May Churcher, and the team from the Cairns Regional Gallery.
My good wife and I will be there in force to celebrate an outstanding achievement. It is one of the best regional galleries, if not the best regional gallery, in Australia.