Visit to St Joseph's School, Stanthorpe
Principal, Mr Andrew Kendell, staff and students, good afternoon and thank you for your warm welcome. I would also like to welcome students from surrounding schools – I am very glad that you could join us today!
I too acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which we gather, and pay my respects to Elders, past, present and emerging.
I am very pleased to be able to visit the Southern Downs, and indeed your wonderful school, especially since my last visit was cancelled as a result of the flooding across southeast Queensland. Fortunately, the bad weather of the past week or so hasn’t affected this visit too much!
I am kept very busy in my role, with many constitutional, civic and ceremonial duties filling my weeks. Just last week I visited Mount Isa and Townsville and met with local residents, including many school students. Over the past two weeks I have presented many awards to over 120 outstanding Queenslanders in Order of Australia Investiture Ceremonies. I really enjoy the opportunity to recognise fellow Queenslanders who have done amazing things.
As Governor, I am the Queen’s representative in Queensland. My constitutional duties revolve around ensuring good governance of the State and granting Royal assent to bills of Parliament. As you can see, I am kept very busy!
Perhaps the most enjoyable part of my job is visiting schools, especially in regional and rural areas. I find I learn so much from young people about these unique parts of Queensland. I hope to meet many of you today.
Now, I would like to finish off on a piece of advice. I am not sure if many of you were able to watch my swearing in ceremony last year, but one of the vows I made was to promote the health and wellbeing of all Queenslanders. This is important to me, as I used to be Chief Health Officer (I am sure some of you would remember me from the news over the past few years!).
I truly believe that health and wellbeing is heavily influenced by education. You are all attending wonderful schools with outstanding teachers, who all want the best for each one of you. The education you receive in school will be so beneficial for your future, no matter whether it lies in the Southern Downs or further afield.
On that note, thank you all for your warm welcome. I look forward to seeing what the future has in-store for you all.