Official Opening of the Anglican Church Grammar School Centenary Library
Your Grace, Archbishop Aspinall; Chairman, Mr Dan O’Connor; our Principal, Dr Alan Campbell; guests, distinguished as are you all.
I am delighted to be back at my old school on such an important occasion.
This library is entirely unlike the libraries of old. Libraries used to be places where being quiet and sitting still were the order of the day. In my experience, boys were, and are, not very good at either, and I include myself in that.
The information available in even the best libraries was relatively limited. It came in one format only – printed material in hard copy.
Fortunately, libraries have changed dramatically since then, keeping pace with changing teaching and learning approaches. And keeping pace with the extraordinary changes – for my generation at least – in the way we access knowledge and information.
That doesn’t mean, by the way, that my generation is stuck in the middle ages. The Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts that I have initiated at Government House have proved highly effective ways of communicating with Queenslanders.
This magnificent library will open a new era in learning for Churchie, making available for students and teachers many paths to knowledge in an adaptable, dynamic environment.
The library’s four storeys comprise many learning spaces, house the school’s book collection, archives, and a media centre, and accommodate student services facilities.
With over ten kilometres of communications cabling, and many thousands of square metres of flexible-use floor space, the library is a marvellous piece of 21st century knowledge infrastructure that will support the acquisition of 21st century skills.
In short, the library will bring enormous benefits to the school and to the school community.
One last word on libraries: they can improve your life in surprising ways. I once met a librarian in the Law Library at the University of Queensland. We have now been married for 46 years!
I congratulate the School’s headmaster and staff, the Churchie Foundation, all the generous donors involved.
I congratulate the designers and builders of this magnificent library – including 76 contractors!
I thank and congratulate all concerned on their foresight and energy in bringing this wonderful project to fruition.
As Governor, I have opened school buildings in our State, from Churchie in the South East to Cunnamulla State School in the South West, and other infrastructure in between, and there is another school building in our forward calendar.
As with tonight, each of those occasions has been a cause for celebration – of the benefits these buildings bring, as signal edifices of hope and opportunity.
It is sad this school community has been riven by controversy surrounding the naming of the library. Why?… Because that detracts from what we seek to celebrate.
It is my sincere hope that the brilliance of this library, and the opportunities it opens up for current and future students, will unify the School in its pursuit of excellence – a pursuit which all its headmasters have rightly and earnestly proclaimed, and a pursuit which so tangibly benefits the school community.
As Governor and a proud Old Boy, it is with pleasure that I now declare officially open the Anglican Church Grammar School Centenary Library, and proceed to join Archbishop Aspinall in unveiling the commemorative plaque. Thank you.