Presentation of the Ekka School Scarecrow Competition awards
RNA President, Justice Thomas, ladies and gentlemen and, of course, our tremendously talented girls and boys!
Kaye and I look forward to the Ekka each and every year, and we particularly enjoy being a part of the annual School Scarecrow Competition.
We are very proud of our gardens at Fernberg – your Government House.
The House itself is surrounded by 14 hectares of grounds and gardens, including 10 hectares of native bushland.
We have The Camellia Grove; The Rockery, which supports more than 100 roses; the acclaimed Bromeliad Garden; the Bushland Ponds; Kaye’s Rainforest Retreat – like many of you she is a voracious reader; and my ‘Tree of Justice’, a Jacaranda grafted from the old tree which fronted the Supreme Court in George Street, where I once worked.
With all of these beautiful plants and trees come many inquisitive Australian animals and birds.
In fact, more than 56 bird species have been recorded at Government House.
While our feathered friends are among thousands of visitors to the grounds, Kaye and I are very grateful that once a year when we go to the Ekka we are able to welcome another special guest to Fernberg – the winners of the School Scarecrow Competition graciously lend us their scarecrow to display on the grounds of Government House!
I was pleased to hear that this year the Backyard Scarecrows are designed to attract birds and animals, rather than scare them away – a novel idea indeed for a scarecrow – and I must say we have some wonderful work around us at The Old Museum today.
I would like to thank our parents and teachers for the time and effort they have put in to supporting students during this competition.
It has a whimsical theme, but some serious learning takes place during the creative process, and education remains at the very heart of the Ekka, alongside – of course – the enduring theme of city meeting country.
Congratulations to all of the School Scarecrow Competition finalists, and to all of the children across the State who entered their ideas.
You once again made the job of the judges exceedingly difficult.
Congratulations also to this year’s winners, and Kaye and I thank you for lending us your wonderful creation.
We look forward to meeting the competition winners, both the students and their scarecrow, at Fernberg.