Official Visit to Baralaba State School
Mayor, Cr Nev Ferrier; Deputy Mayor, Cr Colin Semple; Principal, Mr Daniel Evans; teachers, staff and students of Baralaba State School.
I begin by acknowledging the traditional custodians of these lands, and I extend my respects and greetings to Elders past, present and emerging.
I am delighted to be in your special town today as part of my very first official regional visit since I was sworn in as Queensland’s 27th Governor, three weeks ago.
I also thank Mr Evans for his warm welcome to the Baralaba State School community.
And this truly is a community, bound together by its strong connection to the people of this town and by its unique history.
At least I believe it is unique – I am certainly not aware of any other Queensland school where classes were held in a tent for the first few years, before more suitable classrooms were built!
Now that was more than 100 years ago, but it is a great example of the positive attitude that still prevails in Baralaba.
This has been particularly so for the past two years when COVID-19 has disrupted life for us all, especially in schools.
I congratulate the Principal, the staff, the parents and the students themselves on what they have achieved despite this disruption.
I have been especially pleased to learn that, despite the pandemic, the school continued its strong focus on physical activity and sport.
Encouraging Queenslanders to be healthy and active is one of the things I am most passionate about, and it is fantastic to hear about your exciting school camps and success on the sporting field.
Another thing I really want to promote while I am Governor is literacy, and I am very pleased to see that Book Week celebrations have continued at the school throughout the pandemic.
There is no better way to improve literacy than by reading and learning to love books.
At Government House, we have recognised this by recently producing two picture books. I look forward to reading our latest book to the combined Year 1-2 class later this afternoon, and to leaving copies at the School for every child.
The School is a central part of life in any small town. Because teachers know and care about every pupil and every family, the school brings the community together, and Baralaba State School is a brilliant example of just how important a small country school can be.