Official Visit to St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School Wandal
Mayor, Cr Williams; Bishop McCarthy; Principal, Ms Jenkinson; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen; boys and girls.
I at once acknowledge the traditional owners of these lands, and extend respectful greetings to Elders and emerging leaders.
Thank you for welcoming me to your wonderful school, I am very happy to be here with you.
I have been Governor of Queensland for almost seven years – which is around the same time it takes to complete your primary school education.
The role of the Governor is unique: there is only one in Queensland at any time, and you become Governor by being appointed by Her Majesty The Queen on the recommendation of the Premier.
There are quite a few roles and duties a Governor must perform, but my favourite by far is visiting schools around Queensland, like yours today! This is because I get to meet with wonderful students, such as yourselves, and see how your school works.
As a young boy growing up in Queensland myself, I moved around a few different schools – both my parents were teachers. Sometimes on that first day of a new school, I could be nervous, but what is wonderful about being new in a school is that there is a chance to make many new friends. I am sure when you have new students start at this school, you are welcoming and generous to the new person as well.
I have brought with me today a very special book called “Gavel Finds His Place”, which I will donate to your library. Gavel is a working dog who started as a police dog – which did not quite work out. He then had quite an adventurous life before he finds his role in life as the official Vice-Regal Dog at the Governor’s house in Brisbane.
I am sure many of you will have adventures after you complete your schooling and find what it is in life that you want to do. Even if you think you know what it is that you want to do – like Gavel thought he was destined to be a police dog – there are often other factors which can lead us to our path.
And part of the fun is the journey to where we belong!
This School has a very long history. It has ‘belonged’ to the Rockhampton community for more than 100 years – which is a lot longer than even I have been alive! (Do you believe that, students? Who here thinks I am more than 100?)
My message to you, students, is to always try your best and thereby you shall succeed – like Gavel. And always be kind to those who support you, including your friends, parents and teachers!
Thank you once again for welcoming me so warmly today. I very much look forward to visiting the Year 3J classroom after assembly and learning more about your wonderful School community.