Visit to Gulf Christian College
Good afternoon, everyone – and thank you for welcoming Kaye and me so warmly. We are looking forward immensely to visiting the students in their classrooms and to seeing and hearing their eisteddfod performance later in this special Assembly.
I acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the lands around Normanton, whose contributions are very much integral to understanding who we are as Queenslanders.
As we flew from Brisbane to Normanton earlier today, we were reminded of just how remote our State’s Gulf communities are. Our three-hour flight also reinforced for us what a challenge that remoteness can be for the Queenslanders who live here.
But the inspiring characteristic of the women and men of Normanton is their resilience and resourcefulness and this school is an excellent example of what can be achieved when imagination is combined with commitment and energy.
To establish an independent co-educational college and operate it successfully for thirty years is achievement enough, but to do so in this location is truly remarkable. Not only that, but the founders, Board, and staff have taken the next step, embracing innovative programs such as the national ‘Smarter Schools’ partnerships and the link with Nambour Christian College. These initiatives will prove vital in enabling students to reach their full potential.
I was particularly pleased to see the extent of community collaboration which characterises this school. It may be small, but it certainly punches above its weight.
There are few schools which could match this College’s record of community involvement — the annual Normanton Rodeo and Show and the Float Competition, ANZAC Day, Croydon’s Environment Day, hosting mission teams, visiting the local community to assist in youth development, and participating in cultural studies with local Indigenous people.
This is an exceptional and inspiring record and I warmly congratulate everyone involved in this achievement, from the Board and staff to the students.
Thank you once again for your warm welcome. I wish you all continued success.