Official Opening of the Crèche and Kindergarten Association (C&K) Central Office
My wife Kaye and I are delighted to join with you today in officially opening the newly relocated C and K Central Office. I am especially pleased to do so both as Patron of this fine organisation, and as your Governor.
I particularly thank Uncle Alex for his Indigenous acknowledgement. It reflects C & K’s genuine commitment to meaningful, practical reconciliation.
My primary role as Patron is to extol C and K’s significant achievements as a leading early education provider over the past 108 years, and as it prepares to continue to do so into the future.
However, with Queenslanders voting tomorrow, I thought I may also take the opportunity to unpack some of the little known links the Creche and Kindergarten Association has with Queensland’s parliamentary history.
Mrs Irene Longman was the first woman elected to the Queensland Parliament as the Member for Bulimba in nineteen twenty-nine. There is a local Federal electoral division named in her honour.
Mrs Longman’s principal concern was for the welfare of women, the mentally handicapped, and, particularly, children. Importantly, in the context of today’s celebrations, between nineteen thirteen and nineteen fifteen, Mrs Longman trained students for the then recently established Creche and Kindergarten Association.
There is a vice-regal link here, too. Upon election, Mrs Longman was given the high honour of leading the “Address-in-Reply”. This is an important part of the parliamentary process, where parliamentarians officially respond to the Governor’s opening address – an address delivered at the first sitting of a new parliament, reflecting the legislative agenda of the government of the day.
During that speech, Mrs Longman expounded upon the need for government to ensure that boys and girls do not fall between the cracks, particularly during the transition from school to work.
As demonstrated through her extensive career prior to election, Mrs Longman was passionate about ensuring all children had access to quality early years education.
Like the Creche and Kindergarten Association’s founders, Mrs Longman knew instinctively what is now vindicated by the weight of decades of research: nurturing during the early years is critical to creating a stable platform upon which we can craft a life in which we may reach our full potential.
C and K, through its hundreds of centres and industry-leading programs, provides children with a safe harbor in which they can develop their personality and creativity, form meaningful peer relationships, and engage in productive play.
These are crucial stipulations if we are to fulfil Longman’s quest to foster “personal enterprise” in our young citizens, so they may indeed avoid falling through the cracks.
These stipulations are reflected in this remarkable organisation’s philosophy: advocating as a strong voice for children’s rights to childhood.
I am sure that under the leadership of new CEO Michael Tizard, and the stewardship of the board led by Chair Bernard Curran, C & K remains well placed to continue to achieve this, and more, from your new premises.
It is my pleasure to unveil this plaque, commemorating the official opening of the relocated C & K Central Office.