Official Visit to St Aidan’s Anglican Girls’ School
Thank you for welcoming Kaye and I so warmly to this special Assembly celebrating International Women’s Day.
I too acknowledge the traditional owners of the lands around Brisbane, and extend respectful greetings to Elders and emerging leaders.
Thank you to the Captain and Vice-captain for their presentation of school activities in recognition of the event, and to Ms Julia McKenna for her words just then on the importance of International Women’s Day and the ‘Friends with Dignity’ social justice initiative.
As was so clearly demonstrated during our tour of the school earlier, St Aidan’s is already at the vanguard of gender equality.
Kaye and I greatly enjoyed the demonstration of coding and robotics that the Years Four and Five students so capably and enthusiastically put on for us.
STEM subjects are the province of female students just as much as of male students.
You are very lucky, students, that your career paths, once you leave this fine School, will not be constrained in ways they once may have been; you will, quite rightly, have access to the full gamut of professions and occupations.
For that we can thank the many young women like yourselves who have advocated for workplaces that welcome male and female participation equally.
We still have some way to go, but it is encouraging to hope that one day there will be no need for a theme of gender equality at International Women’s Day because that theme had already become a reality.
Each of you has the power to encourage and support your classmates and, by working together, realise the potential of all.
This unity of support, I know, is a hallmark of this School.
It is reflected in your laudable vision, nurturing aspiration, and draws inspiration from the inclusive mission of the Society of the Sacred Advent.
Kaye and I were very impressed by Senior School Link precinct, particularly its focus on collaboration.
You have an enviable facility in which to learn and play.
The fact that The Link has adapted and re-purposed the oldest buildings on the grounds means that the traditions of the past are blended with the vitality of the future. I foresee much ‘game-changing’ work originating in this space.
Kaye and I had the great pleasure, by the way, of welcoming to Government House last night, your School’s Junior Librarian, Ms Daley.
Ms Daley was the inspiration, I understand, for a character in ‘Lucy’s Book’, which Kaye has just read to the Preppies. You are very lucky to have such accomplished teachers and dedicated staff, led by Principal Riordan, at your School!
Thank you for hosting Kaye and me on this special day. Congratulations to the fine musicians who entertained us so wonderfully earlier on. I wish all of you the best for your Open Day next week, and for every success throughout the year.