Official Visit to Bowen State School
Mayor, Cr Willcox; Principal, Ms Payne; staff, students and supporters of Bowen State School.
I thank the Cultural Leaders for their welcome to country. I too acknowledge the traditional owners of these lands and extend respectful greetings to Elders and emerging leaders.
I am very pleased to be making my first official visit to Bowen today, and particularly pleased that your School has been included in my itinerary.
Visiting schools is one of the great privileges I have had during my nearly seven years as Queensland’s Governor.
Whether I am visiting a large institution in the capital city with over a thousand students or a tiny, remote school with just one teacher, every school is a measure of both the overall success of our education system and our State character.
I am invariably proud of what I see during those visits.
Queensland has excellent teachers and strong schools which, together, are producing the leaders and the thinkers of the future – the women and men who will carry forward Queensland’s reputation as a smart, innovative State.
The very best schools also recognise that success is built not only on a vision for the future, but also on acknowledging and learning from the past – and that sense of history is particularly strong for me today in this School which has served its community continuously since 1865.
My role as Governor has its history, too.
A total of 26 Governors have now served Queensland, and I am reminded of our very first Governor, Sir George Bowen, every day when I walk into my Study in Government House and see his portrait on the wall.
The fundamental constitutional role of the Governor may not have changed since Sir George gave his name to your town all those years ago, but many other aspects of the role have.
Travelling to regional communities was much more difficult for Sir George without air travel, and attitudes towards him, as the representative then of Queen Victoria, were strictly formal.
Today, I travel by air to the most remote parts of the State to sit down informally with my fellow Queenslanders, listen to their ideas and concerns, and offer them encouragement and support – all things I very much look forward to doing with you all today.
I am most grateful for the opportunity to visit your wonderful School.
I wish you all the best with your studies. Remember to always do your best, and to thank those who support you along the way – thereby you shall succeed. Thank you.