* First published on the Brisbane Times and republished with permission
Stand 10-foot tall. Be proud. Your tag as a “new world city” has been justified. Your foundation as a city of the future has been firmly laid. November 2014 will be etched as yet another occasion you came of age.
To host a G20 summit is something other cities have done with far more tumult and turmoil, and less dignity than you have just done.
But that is not the most remarkable feat of the past week. To merely host a world event is a credit; a mark on the city’s CV that will sit neatly alongside a Commonwealth Games, an Expo and various sporting and cultural achievements as an exemplary tale of your fine aptitude and dexterity.
More importantly the cynics have been silenced, the doubters floored, and the rest of the world sits in awe of everything you take for granted.
It is easy to pick holes, to criticise, to take aim at an idea or ambition. Cynicism might sell newspapers but it is counter-productive and fails to acknowledge the immense talent you harbour, the ability you’ve already unleashed to the world, that which will be realised into the future.
The event won’t be over until late Sunday but already you have swept the haters aside, ignored those keen to chop down tall poppies and gone about creating history.
So far your protectors – police – have handled the situation with poise, acting as tour guides more often than law enforcers. The chief cop of all things G20, Katarina Carroll, danced a corroboree with protestors; a sign you are comfortable with who you are and where you’re placed as an embracing community.
Many will return to work Monday having spent a long weekend away. You might consider the police presence as overkill but you will have seen an incident-free event.
Prior to G20, Brisbane Marketing brought in more than 75 internationally renowned speakers, many of whom just told you how damn good you are. They saw your city what you quietly already know – the weather, the intellect, the liveable environment.
They told you how easy it was to hatch an idea into the global economy; how few limits there are to international reward; and the way, as Lord Mayor Graham Quirk noted in his speech to end the ideas-driven event, success does indeed breed success.