Brisbane Girls Grammar School Official Opening and Naming of Research Learning Centre
I too acknowledge State Member for Brisbane Central Grace Grace MP representing the Premier, Federal Member for Brisbane Teresa Gambaro MP, Councillor Amanda Cooper representing the Lord Mayor, and all members of the wonderful Girls Grammar family gathered here today. Good morning and thank you for the invitation to join you for this very special occasion. It is a pleasure to be here in my dual capacities as your Governor, and as the School’s Official Visitor – under this magnificent Moreton Bay fig.
This venerable specimen has now stood at the front fence of Girls Grammar for more than a century – a living representation of the growth of the School and a reminder that trees, from ancient times, have been viewed as potent symbols of life and learning. How fitting it is that, thanks to the expansive glass façade of this new building, the tree will rarely be out of the sight of those who are growing and learning within.
It’s almost five years since the Girls Grammar Board of Trustees first considered the possibility of marking the one hundred and fortieth anniversary of the School by erecting this Centre. Today that bold vision is a lived-in reality, a state-of-the-art facility which has enabled the School to offer the very best start to its first cohort of Year 7 girls.
Today’s schools support learning in ways that were unimaginable when my parents were teaching in schools in Maryborough, Longreach, and near Kingaroy, in the middle of last century. Even when I became a student at ‘Churchie’ in the sixties, ‘chalk and talk’ was the norm for instruction, and a library was a space dominated by books and silence.
Today, we have classrooms which are both physical and virtual learning places, where the focus is on flexibility, collaboration, dynamism, and innovation – indeed they are no longer confined learning ‘places’, but limitless learning ‘spaces’.
I congratulate the Board of Trustees – including Chairman Elizabeth Jameson who is present here today – on their foresight in commissioning this project, and thank the State Government for its generous support through the Flying Start program.
I also commend the School community – particularly our Principal Jacinda Euler, staff, parents, alumnae and current students – on the unwavering commitment to seeing the Centre realised in time for this one hundred and fortieth anniversary.
A project of this size and complexity requires exceptional planning and management, not to mention patience. It is a credit to all concerned that the entire process was undertaken with minimal disruption to the daily operation of the school.
I’m sure there were many testing days during the fourteen-month construction period, but the result is a superb building everyone can be immensely proud of. It is a confident declaration that this School has its gaze firmly fixed on the future while remaining committed to exceptional scholarship and to Sir Charles Lilley’s vision of providing girls with the same opportunity as their brothers.
This commitment was apparent when I attended your speech day last November and I provided the Occasional Address. It is wonderfully reinforced today.
I am very much looking forward to the tour of the Centre and to meeting many of you during morning tea.
It now gives me great pleasure to declare this building officially open and to name it the Research Learning Centre.