Official Visit to Longreach State School
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, girls and boys.
It is an absolute delight to be back here in Longreach so soon after my last visit in June this year. On that occasion, Kaye and I arrived on the Spirit of the Outback from Emerald, and I have very warm memories of the wonderful welcome students gave us when the train pulled in to the station.
Your station turns 100 years old this month and the Vice-Regal Carriage I arrived in is even a little older than that – which makes it very old indeed!
Your town was going through very tough times with the drought when I came here, so I was thrilled that shortly after my visit your town recorded its wettest June ever: 170mm – the highest since records began back in 1893!
It gives me particular pleasure to be back here at this school because I used to be a student here myself. Not only that – my mother and father were also teachers here!
However I also want to acknowledge today the students here from Longreach State High School, and Our Lady’s Catholic Primary School – all fine schools, brimming with upstanding young Queenslanders.
This school was smaller when I was a pupil, and didn’t have many of the lovely buildings you have now. Every year your school keeps getting better and better, with the strong support you have from your community.
I hope you are enjoying the extra shaded walkways that were constructed over the Christmas break, because it certainly does get warm here, doesn’t it!
You would not remember, I imagine, because you were so young, but I have met many of you before. I spoke with the students at this school in 2010, on my second visit here as Chief Justice of Queensland.
Those of you now in Year 6 had just started school, so since my visit you have gone from being Prep students all the way to the top of the school!
This time I come to visit as Governor of Queensland.
When I was sworn in as Governor, I promised to be a Governor for all of Queensland.
It is very important to me to get out and connect with regional Queensland whenever possible.
Last year was the very first Regional Government House. It was held in Cairns and Far North Queensland. This year I am excited to bring Regional Government House to Longreach.
Given the central role schools play in community life, it is very fitting that the first event of the Longreach Regional Government House should be a visit to your lovely school.
My wife Kaye and I greatly enjoy coming out to visit students like yourselves in your towns across Queensland, and we also greatly enjoy having students come to visit us at Government House in Brisbane.
Our delight in visiting the regions is obviously shared by your school, judging by your school camps. So far this year your Year 4s have been to Winton, your Year 5s have just come back from Emerald, your Year 6s have been to North Keppel Island and your Instrumental Beginner’s Workshop was held in Barcaldine!
You will have learned a great deal from your travels, as I have from mine.
It is always an absolute highlight of any regional trip to meet with the people of the area and hear their stories. Kaye and I have been very much looking forward to meeting many of you when we visit your classrooms and see the wonderful work you have been doing.
Thank you very much for hosting us today. It is an honour to be here; and now to present my school reports from Longreach State School Grade 4, 5 and 6, to your principal Mrs Rayner.
I wish you all the best for the rest of Term 4.