Official Opening of the Brisbane Girls Grammar School Science Learning Centre
Principal, Ms Euler; Board of Trustees Chair; Ms McKay and fellow Trustees; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen; students of this uplifting Queensland institution.
I too acknowledge the traditional owners of these lands, and extend respectful greetings to Elders and emerging leaders.
As the School’s Official Visitor, I was delighted to receive the invitation from the Principal to be with you this evening to officially open this magnificent facility – the most substantial building project yet undertaken by this school.
It is nothing short of extraordinary to see it completed just 16 months from the turning of the first sod and to know it will be fully operational for the start of the 2021 Academic Year.
Despite COVID-19 disruptions for much of the construction period, the Board of Trustees, the Project Steering Committee and the Exceptional Futures campaign have achieved a truly exceptional result.
Like the Research Learning Centre I was so very honoured to officially open in March 2015, this impressively conceived edifice soars above Spring Hill as a tribute to School’s ambitious spirit, and to the level of philanthropic commitment from families, alumnae and friends.
The Centre is also a splendid example of what can happen when a school’s leaders and decision-makers fully embrace a bold, visionary concept and provide the leadership to realise it and engage the entire school community.
That engagement has been evident since the very beginning of construction, with students from Years 7 to 12 given the opportunity to follow the building’s progress and gain insights into the design, engineering and construction process.
Kitted out in hard hats and ‘hi vis’ vests, they have toured the building site and have attended special information sessions with key people and have learned how the various design aspects relate to the science that will be studied here.
One striking example of the depth to which concepts from science have been imaginatively embedded in the design is the Wall of Thanks, created in the form of the Periodic Table.
Even the school’s nine Houses have adopted the names of elements, and while I’m not sure what happens when Barium and Strontium are combined in a laboratory, I suspect there could be some powerful reactions when the elements are combined in sporting and other competitions.
Examples like these demonstrate that this Centre is much more than just a seven-level building with state-of-the-art, discipline-specific facilities; it is tangible evidence of how this school strives for meaning and relevance in everything it does to advance the education of young women.
I congratulate the Board of Trustees, the Principal, M3 Architecture, Lend Lease and all involved in the construction and in raising the funds to build it.
In the School’s significant 145th anniversary year, I now take great pleasure in joining our Principal and Chair in unveiling the plaque, thereby declaring officially open the Brisbane Girls Grammar School ‘Science Learning Centre’. Thank you.