Wattle Tree Planting at Holy Cross School
Councillor for Merchant Ward, Fiona Hammond; Representing Catholic Education Queensland, Dr Sally Towns; Wattle Day Association Vice-President, Mr Mike Gilmour; Representing Open Minds and Multicap, Director Ms Elissa Morriss; Acting Principal of Holy Cross Primary School, Ms Michelle McClafferty; teachers and staff; parents; boys and girls.
I begin by acknowledging the original custodians of the lands on which we gather, the Turrbul and Jagera people, and pay respect to their Elders past and present, and emerging. I would also like to extend my respect to any First Nations people here with us today.
Thank you for welcoming me to your wonderful school, I am very happy to be here with you as Governor!
The role of the Governor is unique, there is only ever one Governor in Queensland at a time, and I am the 27th Governor of Queensland!
You become Governor by being appointed by Her Majesty The Queen on the recommendation of the Premier. It is a special role, and who knows, there might be a future Governor of Queensland sitting in front of me today!
As Governor, I have many roles and duties, but my absolute favourite part is coming to visit all the different schools around Queensland, and I look forward to meeting many of you throughout the course of my visit today.
There is another reason for my visit today, as this Thursday we celebrate National Wattle Day and I will shortly have the great privilege of planting a Brisbane Golden Wattle Tree here at your lovely school.
Wattle day began in Queensland 110 years ago in 1912 when Open Minds was founded as the Queensland Wattle Day League. They began by supporting and fundraising for the Arts, and after World War I, it was expanded to also fundraise for returned soldiers.
As time went on, and the needs of the community changed, the purpose of Wattle Day, and Open minds changed with it; and, now in partnership with Multicap, they are now helping to raise funds and awareness in support of mental health.
The iconic golden wattle is, as I am sure you know, part of the Australian Coat of Arms and a symbol of our Aussie strength, and our ability to work hard in tough conditions.
The wattle itself is known to be a very resilient plant, being able to survive bushfires and droughts, and I know that you will care for this wattle tree at your school, and watch it grow for years to come.
Before I move to plant the Wattle Tree, I would like to thank the teachers and staff for your commitment to your students, and thank you boys and girls, for working hard at school every day. Like the wattle, you are resilient and strong and have bright, blossoming futures ahead. Thank you.