Visit to Mackay West State School
Mackay Regional Council Mayor, Councillor Greg Williamson, and Senior Coordinator, Community Programs, Mr Robert Ryan; Principal, Mr Paul Manttan; Deputy Principals Mr Samuel Strang and Mrs Julie Chisolm; teachers and staff, parents, 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.
Graeme and I are so delighted to be able to visit your school on our very first visit to Mackay since I was sworn in as the 27th Governor of Queensland in November last year.
Visiting schools is one of my very favourite parts of my job because I have the privilege of meeting all the wonderful teachers, staff and students like yourselves, and I am always so impressed! I particularly enjoy meeting the young people in our communities, because you demonstrate so much enthusiasm and energy.
For nearly 100 years, children like you have been learning at this school, playing together, and making friendships that often last a lifetime. Teachers have been working hard to share their wisdom and knowledge, and parents have been supporting their children and the wider school community to thrive.
And through every one of those years, Mackay West State School students, staff and community have lived the motto “Always our best”. And what a fantastic motto it is! If you come to school each day with the attitude to always do your best – as I’m sure you do – you will go far!
Now, while your school is getting close to celebrating its 100th birthday, there has been another very big celebration this year, and that is the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty The Queen, who has been our Monarch for an incredible 70 years!
We’ve been celebrating this milestone all year at Government House, and you might have even seen some of the celebrations at Buckingham Palace in London on television.
I was thrilled to see that your school community is also going to celebrate The Queen’s Jubilee with a special tree planting, and I’m particularly impressed that you’re involving lots of different people in the planning, so that your special gardens represent the many different cultures within your community.
In fact, it seems there is always plenty of fun and excitement happening at your school! This Friday, I understand you are celebrating Book Week, which I love almost as much as I love reading…
This year’s theme “Dreaming with eyes open...” asks us to consider how books, and the words and images that create them, can send us to amazing places. I hope you have a wonderful day exploring this theme and while I can’t be here on Friday to see your magnificent costumes, Graeme and I are looking forward to reading a book to some of you after today’s assembly, about Government House, called ‘A Place for All Queenslanders’.
This is a very special book signifying the importance of everyone being welcome and free to be themselves, and how this welcoming nature makes Queensland a wonderful place to live.
Thank you, once again, for welcoming us so warmly to your school.