Visit to St Finbarr's Parish Primary School, Quilpie
Principal McNair, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, it is wonderful to be back in a country primary school. I lived in country centres until I was eleven or twelve years old, and so being here I am suddenly taken back to when I was your age!
There is something very special about country schools. My parents were teachers—my father was the Principal, in fact—so I was lucky enough to go to a number of country primary schools growing up.
I had the opportunity two years ago to go back to my old primary school in Longreach when Regional Government House was held there.
A few years have passed since I was a student there! Many things had changed of course, but the things I remembered best – the closeness of the community, the character of the people – remained the same.
When you leave St Finbarr’s you will go on to high school, and then perhaps leave Quilpie for a while, to study at university or to take up a job opportunity elsewhere.
And then one day, like me, you will return to your childhood school, and remember all the wonderful experiences you had at this school. So make sure you do as much as you can while you are here, so that you create a lot of wonderful memories!
Those of you in Years Five and Six will be creating some of those memories in Canberra shortly. Don’t forget to pack a warm jacket. Canberra can get very cold in July!
You will visit Parliament House while you are there, where you will learn a lot about how our democracy works.
You may even learn a bit about what it is that I do. I am the representative of Her Majesty the Queen, who is the Head of State in Queensland.
The Governor of Queensland does many things. I open Parliament, and I hold award ceremonies, and I have the great pleasure of visiting many rural and regional areas and speaking to people such as yourselves, which is a highlight of my job. Thank you for inviting me to visit today.
Before I leave I would like to say I greatly enjoyed listening to your choral performance.
Did you know that they’ve done a lot of research into school choirs? Yes, they actually study such things!
It will come as no surprise to you to hear that singing in a choir is very good for you. It makes you feel happy, even if you are just listening to it.
So thank you for making us all feel happy this morning and for welcoming us so warmly, in full voice, to your lovely school and delightful town. It’s been a wonderful start to our day in Quilpie.