Ithaca Creek State School Year 6 Farewell Night
Minister Miles; Mrs Flanagan and Mrs Webb, the Council Chair and Principal of our fine school; distinguished guests, particularly tonight’s graduating students, and their wonderfully supportive families and friends.
As a proud former pupil of Ithaca Creek State School, I have been very pleased to re-establish contact with my old school since I became Governor of Queensland.
Just last week, Kaye and I welcomed Ithaca Creek representatives at Government House to celebrate the School’s 130th anniversary and its listing on our State’s Heritage Register.
Last year at this time, I was here to farewell the Year 6 students, and in twenty-fourteen, I was honoured to farewell the very first Year 6 cohort to make the transition to high school.
On that occasion, I presented my school report cards to your Principal for your archives.
You may think it unusual that I still had those report cards after so many years, but I know that the parents here tonight will keep those important records, too, just as my parents did, and as Kaye and I did for our own children.
Like us, today’s parents will re-read those report cards at a future time and will see (often with a sense of wonder) that, although their children have grown to adulthood, their fundamental qualities, their personality and character, have not changed from when they were here in Year 6 at Ithaca Creek.
More than two hundred years ago, the English poet, William Wordsworth, wrote about this in a poem that we still quote today. He said: “The child is father of the man”.
By this, he meant that the person we are as a child, our strengths and weaknesses, our likes and dislikes, our fears and dreams, will help determine the person we become as an adult and will remain with us, even into old age.
But the important message, especially for our Year 6s at this turning point in their lives, is that, whatever you are now, you can develop and change; we can all become kinder, more aware and committed people who will do our best to make the world a better place.
This year’s prize-winners have already made a significant contribution by excelling in their studies, and I look forward to shortly presenting the Paul de Jersey Academic Award.
But, first and foremost tonight, I congratulate all Year 6s on their successful completion of primary school, and their teachers and parents on preparing them so well for this next step in their education.
I wish you every success as you set out on this most exciting journey. Thank you.