Visit to Mackay North State High School
Mackay Regional Council Mayor, Councillor Greg Williamson, and Senior Coordinator, Community Programs, Mr Robert Ryan; Principal, Ms Catherine Rolfe; Head of Music, Ms Kathy George; staff; parents, Student Council representatives; performers; girls and boys, good afternoon.
I would also like to acknowledge the original custodians of the land on which we gather today, and pay my respects to Elders past, present and emerging, including any First Nations people here today.
Thank you so much for taking the time during your lunch break to be here at this special parade today to perform your award-winning pieces.
I had the immense pleasure of watching your School’s band march past at Brisbane’s ANZAC Day parade in April – my first as Governor of Queensland, but the 28th appearance for Mackay North State High School. A remarkable record.
Given you are often the only band outside of Brisbane to participate – and the largest – this is a sizable commitment for which I thank you most sincerely. You add a memorable and impressive element to our traditional metropolitan march, representing your region and school with pride.
Over the last thirty years, I’m told your band has grown from humble beginnings, to today boasting around 135 members and an international reputation for excellence, having performed at two Olympic Games, a tourism festival in China and I believe you even have a standing invitation to perform at Disneyland in Los Angeles!
Closer to home, I’d also like to congratulate you on your recent success at this year’s Fanfare festival, where I’m told the Senior Concert Band won the Regional Final, and the String Orchestra also won Gold. Well done!
Students - your success is a testament to your immense talent, that has been lovingly nurtured by your families. It is also a triumphant demonstration of the commitment of your teachers to inspire and transform; to turn your individual gifts into bands and orchestras that produce a sound and effect greater than the sum of their parts. I commend you all.
The late Professor George Parks, who revolutionised the way the renowned University of Massachusetts Minuteman Marching Band performed over his 33-year career, said: “A band is not proud because it performs well; it performs well because it is proud.”
I hope you are all very proud of your achievements and your school. Queensland is proud of you.
I urge you to continue to embody your school motto in all that you do – to always ‘strive for the best’.
Graeme and I are honoured to watch you perform shortly. Thank you, once again, for welcoming us so warmly to your school.