Wattle Tree Planting at Our Lady of the Angels' School
Minister for Sport, Minister for Aged Care, Member for Lilley, the Honourable Anika Wells MP; Assistant Minister for Education, Assistant Minister for Regional Development, Senator the Honourable Anthony Chisholm; State Member for Stafford, Mr Jimmy Sullivan MP; Councillor for Northgate Ward, Councillor Adam Allan; Vice President Wattle Day Association, Mr Mike Gilmour; Executive Director, Brisbane Catholic Education, Dr Sally Towns; Principal, Mr Matthew Beacroft; staff, parents, carers, boys and girls.
I begin by acknowledging the Turrbal and Jagera people, the traditional custodians of the lands around Brisbane, and pay my respects to Elders past, present and emerging, and any First Nations people here today.
Thank you, Mr Beacroft, for that warm welcome. I am delighted to be here at your wonderful school, on the eve of Wattle Day.
Our Lady of the Angels’ School is a tapestry of faith and knowledge, a clear sign that school is more than just a place of learning; it is a sanctuary of cooperation, understanding, and growth.
Shortly, I will join some students in planting a wattle tree, a native species that is, of course, Australia’s floral emblem and featured on our Commonwealth Coat of Arms.
Wattle Day traces its origins to 1912, when the Queensland Wattle Day League was established to promote this beautiful and resilient plant as a symbol of unity, growth and strength, and to raise funds to support art scholarships.
That group, now known as Open Minds, also worked tirelessly to foster an appreciation of the wattle as a link between our past and future.
Over the years, Wattle Day has become a nationwide celebration, embodying the spirit of a diverse yet unified nation, with deep roots and plenty of potential for growth.
This tree we are planting need not be considered merely symbolic.
It is a wonderful gift to the generations of children, parents, carers, teachers and staff to come here at Our Lady of the Angels’ School, not to mention a very environmentally conscious choice of native species.
So, thank you for inviting me to be a part of something so imbued with meaning, and so long-lasting.
At Government House, we also celebrate Wattle Day—by lighting up our normally white walls in a green-and-gold light display.
It won’t last nearly as long as your beautiful wattle tree, but hopefully it demonstrates that we are united in our pride as Australians and as Queenslanders and looking forward with confidence to our shared future. Thank you.