Official visit to the Gulf of Carpentaria
The Governor and Mrs de Jersey have today returned from a 5 day official visit to Normanton, Karumba, Doomadgee and Burketown in Queensland’s remote Gulf of Carpentaria region.
The region’s combined population may only be 3,500, however it is a region of vital importance to Queensland – culturally, historically, environmentally and economically.
This was the Governor’s 73rd visit to a regional centre since being sworn-in in July 2014, at which time His Excellency made the commitment to visit all Queenslanders communities, lending support to those endeavours and contributions which bind and uplift our communities.
The Governor and Mrs de Jersey began their first official visit to the Gulf region on Friday by meeting staff and students of Normanton State School and Gulf Christian College, before touring the local police station.
Saturday began with a briefing from Carpentaria Shire Council, where the Governor was presented with an Akubra-style hat – the Governor responded by assuring the Mayor the hat would shortly make its social media debut (and it did!) – before the Governor and Mrs de Jersey met members of the Normanton community at a morning tea.
It was then off to historic Burketown, where the vice-regal couple were briefed by Burke Shire Council representatives, attended a community morning tea, and joined Gangalidda and Garawa Indigenous Land and Sea Rangers who shared with the Governor and Mrs de Jersey the region’s rich Indigenous history and cultural heritage during a cruise down the Albert River.
On Sunday, the Governor and Mrs de Jersey headed to Karumba on the Gulf of Carpentaria coast, where they met community members at morning tea, and toured local tourism infrastructure including the Barramundi Discovery Centre.
On the way back from touring the Volunteer Marine Rescue, Karumba base, the Governor’s party, quite unplanned, stopped to meet members of the 51st Far North Queensland Regiment who were in the region on a training exercise and had parked on the side of the road leading into town.
In the evening, the vice-regal couple boarded a vessel and were briefed on the ecological value of the Norman River by local tour operators.
The official visit to the Gulf Region continued on Monday, where the Governor and Mrs de Jersey met the entire student population of Karumba State School – all 32 of them – and their supportive staff, before heading about 350kms west to the Aboriginal community of Doomadgee.
While in Doomadgee, the Governor and Mrs de Jersey visited the local school, toured police operations, and met Doomadgee Aboriginal Shire Council representatives and community members at an afternoon tea.