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Monday 20 April 2020

His Excellency the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC, Governor of Queensland, has today released a special video message congratulating James Cook University on its historic 50th anniversary today, 20 April 2020.

Today is exactly 50 years since Queensland’s Head of State, Her Majesty The Queen, granted Royal Assent to the James Cook University of North Queensland Bill 1970 at a special ceremony at the Douglas Campus in Townsville on 20 April 1970, thereby proclaiming Queensland’s second-oldest University.

Prior to this date, from 1961, the institution was an annexe of The University of Queensland.

This is the first and only time Her Majesty has personally granted Royal Assent to a Bill of the Queensland Parliament while in the State.

The granting of Royal Assent is an essential step in the law-making process. Every Bill passed by the Queensland Parliament must receive Royal Assent before it can become an Act of Parliament. Assent is almost always granted by the Governor, although it can also be provided by Queensland’s Head of State, Her Majesty The Queen, if physically present in Queensland.

The Governor was disappointed not to be in Townsville today, however he released a special video message believing this important State occasion should not go unheralded.

In the message, the Governor reads a quote from the speech delivered at the University’s proclamation ceremony before Her Majesty by then Governor, Sir Alan Mansfield, describing the day as, “a new era in tertiary education in Australia, as this new University will be the first to be established in the Australian tropics”.