Official Visit to St Patrick’s Catholic School
Mr Mayor; Principal, Ms Tully; staff and students of St Patrick’s Catholic School. Thank you all for welcoming me so warmly to your School – and congratulations on that most enjoyable performance.
I at once acknowledge the traditional owners of these lands, extending respectful greetings to Elders and emerging leaders.
This is my fourth official visit to Winton since I was appointed as Governor of Queensland, six years ago. I enjoy every visit because, each time, it brings me back to a part of Queensland I knew very well when both of my parents were teachers in Longreach and my brothers and I attended primary school.
That’s a very long time ago, of course, but, like you, my brothers and I took great pride in our school, in the history of outback Queensland, and the achievements of the pioneers.
I was very pleased to note that your School badge includes images that commemorate two of the things which earned Winton a place in Australia’s history: the swagman of Banjo Patterson’s Waltzing Matilda, and the internationally recognised QANTAS logo, the flying kangaroo.
Your School badge is an important symbol. It not only proclaims your connection to the history of Winton, it also reminds you, every day, that this school and its leaders are committed to providing you with an education guided by the Christian mission.
This impressive School traces its history back to 1906, when the Sisters of Mercy operated out of a little wooden church. Their mission has continued in this excellent facility, using now the very latest technology.
I know your Principal and your teachers are proud that the quality of the education you are offered here is the equal of that in any centre in the State.
In fact, in many ways it is better because of the high level of individual attention you receive and the dedication and commitment of your teachers, your families, and the broader community.
While you may not realise or appreciate this now, I know you will when you look back on this experience as adults. In the meantime, I encourage you to take every opportunity to learn and to make a positive difference to the lives of others in the School and in your community.
I am looking forward to answering your questions, and to sharing with you a special book, the story of Gavel, the Vice-Regal Dog.