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Regal visitor returns to revitalised city

Ipswich Central State School principal Roger Sheehan, Queensland Governor, His Excellency the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC and Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding listen to the Governor reading his new book to the year one students at Ipswich Central State School

When Queensland Governor, His Excellency the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC set foot in the Ipswich Central State School on Wednesday, it was not the first time he had walked the school grounds.

He himself was a student there when it was called the Ipswich Central Boys School and his father, Ronald, was the headmaster.

The Governor has a great personal affection for Ipswich as it is the birth place of his mother, Moya.

Gavel finds his Place book cover

The Governor started the day by addressing the school’s assembly, before reading his newly launched children’s book about Gavel the Vice-Regal Dog.

Gavel Finds His Place is partly based on the real-life story of Gavel the German shepherd, who came to Government House in 2016 while training to be a Queensland Police Service working dog.

Too friendly for a life on the front line, Gavel was appointed as the State’s first official Vice-Regal Dog in 2017.

Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding welcomed the Governor back to Ipswich after their last meeting took place electronically during the COVID-19 restrictions in May. 

Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding and the Queensland Governor Paul de Jersey talk with Ipswich Community Leaders

Mayor Harding hosted the Governor at various official engagements including a briefing on local issues. 

“It was a pleasure to welcome the Governor to Ipswich, and to brief His Excellency on our region’s future direction and council initiatives,” Mayor Harding said.

“Our new council is committed to delivering value for the local community and to bringing transparency, integrity and good governance to the City of Ipswich.

“We have taken steps forward in our first six months in office, including over $2 million in support for local businesses and community organisations in the 2020/21 budget, and the launch of the Transparency and Integrity Hub on 1 July.”

Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding welcomed the Queensland Governor Paul de Jersey to Ipswich’s Nicholas Street Precinct along with Ipswich City Council Coordination and Performance general manager Sean Madigan.

The Governor was given a sneak peek behind the fence of the Nicholas Street Precinct civic plaza, now officially named Tulmur Place, and the new library.

The $250 million Ipswich Central redevelopment is the biggest redevelopment of the Ipswich CBD since the 1980s.

Stage two of the redevelopment officially opens in late 2020 and the Governor was able to see the new look skyline as the new council administration building has reached its full height of nine storeys. 

Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding, Queensland Governor Paul de Jersey and Ipswich Art Gallery director Michael Beckmann discuss the exhibition by local artist Kyle Stevens, Ways of Water.

Mayor Harding spoke to the Governor about council’s plan to keep pace with the rapid expansion in this region and make sure the benefits would flow to the people of Ipswich. 

“We are the fastest-growing local government area in Queensland, with our population growing by 4.1% in 2018-19,” Mayor Harding said.

“We are a region of exporters, providing a total value of $4.9 billion every year, including $3.3 billion exported domestically and $1.6 billion exported internationally.” 

The Governor also hosted a community leader’s morning tea and spoke to a wide range of community members and they discussed topics from business to the environment and building a strong community.

The Governor was given a tour of the Ipswich Art Gallery looking at local exhibition Ways of Water by Kylie Stevens after meeting with Ipswich Defence Industry businesses leaders.

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