Visit to Thursday Island Primary School
Torres Shire Council Mayor, Councillor Yen Loban, Deputy Mayor, Councillor Gabriel Bani and CEO, Mrs Dalassa Yorkston; Head of Campus, Mr Rick Cass; educators, children, parents and other guests. Good morning.
I begin by acknowledging the original custodians of the lands on which we gather, the Kaurareg people, and pay my respects to Elders past, present and emerging, and to all First Nations people here today.
I am so happy to be here with you all, in this beautiful part of Queensland you call home.
I have come from my home, Government House in Brisbane, and did you know the original custodians of that place are called the Turrbal and Jagera people?
It is also a beautiful place, full of bird song and bush tucker, and home to all sorts of animals and plants and insects.
Kind of like this place but without all the really deadly stuff.
And as I tell people wherever I go, Government House is more than just my home, or even a home for the birds and animals that live there.
It’s a place for all Queenslanders. There’s even a book to prove it!
I look forward to reading it with some of you following today’s assembly. And I hope after we’ve read it, that you can share some stories with me, so that I can take them back to Government House and share them with everyone who visits me there.
Before we do that, I want to tell you how much I enjoy visiting schools around Queensland and talking to the children and teachers, and others who help us get a good start on life’s long journey.
Education is so important, whether it be here in a classroom, or out in the community or on Country.
But schools are extra special places, because they don’t just teach us about reading and writing, they also help us learn about things like healthy eating and exercise and how to look after ourselves when we become adults.
They help us make connections with others, and that’s a very important part of growing up and being part of a wonderful community like this.
But you might say I am extra passionate about reading, and about storytelling, because it’s through stories that we learn so much.
I believe it’s important that all children have the opportunity to read and to learn, wherever they live in Queensland, and in whatever language they feel most comfortable.
That is why we have decided to translate A Place for All Queenslanders into some of the prevalent Indigenous languages from the regions I have visited: so that kids everywhere can read it, just like you.
Thank you for welcoming me so warmly to your wonderful school.