Official Visit to Withcott State School
Thank you, Ms Angus, you lead a wonderful school, and you plainly command the respect of the school community.
What an impressive group of girls and boys we have here today. It is wonderful to be with you all, and I can understand why Ms Angus is so proud to lead you.
I actually spent the first 5 years of my life very close to here, a bit further towards Brisbane, at Patrick Estate in the Brisbane Valley.
My father was the only teacher at that school. I visited the school a fortnight ago (there were about 40 students there that day, so it’s a bit smaller than your school).
Why am I here? Well, I am the Queensland Governor, your Governor: I am the representative here of Queen Elizabeth the Second, our Head of State.
(You may have seen the flag on the front of the car in which we arrived. That is the Governor’s Standard. It flies on any car in which I travel. When it flies above Government House in Brisbane, it means I am inside, so the postman always knows when I’m home!)
Kaye, my wife, and I met The Queen last year at Buckingham Palace. It was a fascinating, almost overwhelming place.
And did you know that last week Her Majesty became the longest reigning British and therefore Australian monarch – which means she has been Queen longer than all the Kings and Queens who’ve come before her.
Part of my role as Governor is to travel around Queensland, to all the towns including the remote communities – and even islands you can only reach via helicopter or small plane. Kaye and I try to encourage everyone to do their best, and to say thank you for making our State such a great place to live in.
That’s why we are so excited to be here in the Lockyer Valley, and particularly Withcott State School: to meet you all.
It is wonderful to see you all getting along – well that’s what your teachers – and your Mayor – have told me; and I have great faith in their assurances.
We know your wonderful school has been an important part of this resilient local community, particularly during the recent flooding in 2011 and 2013, but more broadly over the last 31 years, and may it continue to do so for at least three decades more.
Girls and boys, set your sights high. Your opportunities are wonderfully broad. Always do your best, and you will enjoy a fulfilling life! And never forget your debt to your wonderful… parents, friends, and such dedicated teachers!