Familiar faces among Gympie's 23 baton bearers
PREMIER Annastacia Palaszczuk has revealed the list of about 3800 Australians who will carry the Queen's Baton on its 100-day journey across the nation in the lead-up to the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, including 23 Gympie people.
The Premier said the list of names, selected through a community nomination program, was a great reflection of Australia.
"The lists of names have been compiled by judging panels in each state and territory, allowing local knowledge to play the greatest possible role in the selection process,” the Premier said.
GYMPIE'S BATON BEARERS ARE:
Helen Bartlett of Gympie
Henry Bath of Greens Creek
Charlotte Blackwood of Goomboorian
Jarred Brook of Veteran
Alexia Broome of Kandanga
John Buckley of Gympie
Isabelle Cantle of East Deep Creek
Kate Carmichael of Chatsworth
Jack Chambers of Gympie
Chantelle Chippindall of Pie Creek
Lewin Cleary of Kandanga
Leonora Cox of Curra
Steven Elliott of the Southside
Helen Garrett of Gympie
Jenny Harragon of Veteran
Craig Mathisen of Gympie
Eleisha McInnes of Kin Kin
Jason McPherson of Lagoon Pocket
Jason said yesterday:
"Firstly I need to thank a great family friend Liza Cameron for thinking I was deserving of such a privilege, until nominated. It's something I had never considered to become a reality.
"I can tell you this, the email I got saying I was accepted has made me so proud and excited to represent our great region on this very important mission.
"I hope by my selection gives kids that I've coached over the years the inspiration to push themselves to meet goals and get to see that hard work and honesty can be rewarded no matter how big.
"Again, I didn't see myself as a worthy recipient but can tell you I will be the proudest man alive the day I carry the flame for our town, my family and everyone that I know.
"My family is so excited and my mother and my father in law, who I miss so much, would be brimming with pride if they were here today. Bring it on.”
Georgia Nugent of Gympie
Ashleigh Rimmington of The Dawn
Maddison Shannon of Gympie
Amber Spence of Gympie
Natalie Upshall of Canina
"The baton bearers recognise the achievements and aspirations of Australians from all walks of life, from ambitious 10-year-olds to humble volunteers and well-known Australians from a variety of fields.
"Collectively, our baton bearers will take more than a million steps through every state and territory, sharing the excitement of GC2018 with regional and remote communities.”
The Premier also revealed the uniform that baton bearers will get to wear with pride as they carry the Baton.
"It will be a treasured keep-sake of their special role in GC2018,” she said.
Minister for the Commonwealth Games Kate Jones said the baton bearers were in for the experience of a lifetime - one that they will cherish for the rest of their lives.
"I'm proud that so many inspirational Queenslanders have taken up the Baton to be part of our country's biggest ever sporting event.
"The Games is our once in a lifetime opportunity to show the world what Queensland has to offer.
"There is a 90 year age range across the baton bearers, from 100-year-old Bill Bruce from Nebo, to 10-year-old Corbin Easton from Caloundra,” the Premier said.
"In Queensland, there will be more than 1800 baton bearers, as the Relay travels to 83 communities over 33 days.”
The Baton lands in Brisbane to start the final leg of its journey on Christmas Eve this year.
For one month during the school summer holidays, the Queen's Baton will visit major events, iconic landmarks and children's hospitals across the country.
The traditional relay will resume in Canberra on January 25, 2018 and will be carried by great Australians through QBR celebration communities around the country.
The Baton's activity during the school holidays and the street-level detail through celebration communities will be revealed on November 17.
Since its launch from Buckingham Palace on March 13, 2017, the Baton has inspired athletes and fans across Africa, the Caribbean, the Americas and Europe. Currently it is in Malaysia and is set to visit the remaining 15 Commonwealth nations in Asia and Oceania before arriving in Australia on Christmas Eve.
It will be 60 years since a Baton first carried Her Majesty's message to athletes of the Commonwealth at the Cardiff 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Wales.
Batonbearer names and the communities that they will carry the Baton in are available at gc2018.com/qbr
GOLDOC Chairman Peter Beattie AC:
"We couldn't be more excited for the baton bearers who will be a part of this rich tradition. We are honoured to have so many great Australians carry Her Majesty's message for Gold Coast 2018 and we look forward to celebrating their stories and inspiring generations to come.
"For the baton bearers, this will be a rare and unforgettable experience.”
Commonwealth Games Federation President Louise Martin CBE:
"I warmly congratulate all baton bearers on their selection to participate in the GC2018 Queen's Baton Relay. They will do far more than just carry Her Majesty's message, they will champion the spirit of community and share the spirit of the Games with the world. I hope it is a truly memorable occasion for them and all the people who support the Relay as it travels through Australia.
"As we celebrate their achievements, the baton bearers will evoke local and national pride, reminding us that we are part of a larger Commonwealth family.”
City of Gold Coast Acting Mayor Donna Gates:
"When the Queen's Baton arrives on the beautiful Gold Coast, the whole Commonwealth will have been a part of its incredible journey. The QBR is the perfect platform for all Gold Coasters to have a part in GC2018.
"The QBR will showcase the entire Gold Coast as we countdown to the Games and what is going to be a spectacular event.”
Marie Bennetts OAM, Baton bearer, Gold Coast:
"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I am honoured to join a group of great Australian's who will help deliver the Queen's Baton to the Opening Ceremony.”
Harrison Tippett, Baton bearer, Gold Coast:
"It is an honour and a privilege to carry the Queen's Baton and represent my community the Gold Coast with pride. I am looking forward to having my family and friends cheer me on.”
John Pingiaro, Baton bearer, Frankston Victoria:
"I am honoured and humbled to be given this once in a lifetime opportunity to be part of the Queen's Baton Relay.
"I will carry the Baton high and it's a special feeling to know I will have my whole community behind me and cheering me on.”
GOLDOC CEO Mark Peters:
"We were overwhelmed by the quality of Batonbearer nominations from around the country. Sport is pivotal to building strong communities and our Community Batonbearer Nomination Program has shown that the spirit of community is alive and well in Australia.
"The Queen's Baton Relay is a whole of community event and I encourage friends, sports teams and families to join the celebrations when the Baton visits your community.”
The Queen's Baton Relay (QBR) continues to connect the Gold Coast with the entire Commonwealth.
Already the Baton has been passed between thousands of people across Africa, the Caribbean, the Americas and Europe, building excitement for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018).
The GC2018 Relay is the longest and most accessible in history, travelling through the entire Commonwealth for 388 days and 230,000 kilometres.
The Baton engages with all Commonwealth nations and territories of Africa, the Caribbean, the Americas, Europe, Asia and Oceania for 288 days before it arrives in Australia for a further 100 days.
The Baton arrives into Brisbane on Christmas Eve and approximately 3,800 batonbearers will carry it through every state and territory in Australia.
The Relay started on Commonwealth Day, Monday 13 March 2017, at Buckingham Palace when Her Majesty placed Her message inside of the Baton.
The distinctive design of the GC2018 Queen's Baton captures the boundless energy of the Gold Coast. In form and inspiration, the Baton is a symbol of our past, present and future.
The Queen's Baton arrives on the Gold Coast for the XXI Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony on 4 April 2018, where the Prince of Wales will remove Her Majesty's message from the Baton and read it aloud to declare the Games open.