After travelling for 288 days and engaging with all nations and territories of the Commonwealth, the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018) Queen’s Baton arrived back on Australian soil on Christmas Eve.
And Griffith University Bachelor of Science (Advanced Honours) student Cameron McEvoy was literally on hand for its arrival.
The GC2018 Ambassador and Longines Friend accepted the Queen’s Baton airside from Hugh Graham, Vice President Commonwealth Games Federation for Oceania, following its arrival from New Zealand.
Hundreds of travellers were there to witness the historic arrival as Cameron carried the Queen’s Baton into the arrivals hall on Brisbane International Airport’s busiest morning of the year.
“With the arrival of the Queen’s Baton in Australia, the countdown to GC2018 is on,” Cameron said.
“As a proud Gold Coast athlete, I am looking forward to this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to compete in a global sporting event in my own backyard.”
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, Minister for Innovation and Tourism Industry Development and Minister for the Commonwealth Games Kate Jones MP, Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation (GOLDOC) Chairman Peter Beattie AC, GOLDOC CEO Mark Peters and Commonwealth Games Australia CEO Craig Phillips were in attendance to welcome the Queen’s Baton back to Australia.
GOLDOC Chairman Peter Beattie AC described the day as “a major milestone” for GC2018.
“After its epic international journey, the Queen’s Baton is now embarking on a 100-day voyage around Australia, travelling through every state and territory,” he said.
“As the ultimate symbol of the Commonwealth Games, the Queen’s Baton gives everyday Australians the chance to share the dream of GC2018 in the lead-up to April.”
At the last stop on the international journey, the Queen’s Baton was officially handed over to representatives of the Yugambeh Language Group, the traditional custodians of the land on which the majority of the Games will be held, at a special ceremony at the Auckland War Memorial Museum.
Griffith University’s John Graham formally received the Queen’s Baton for that final international leg of the journey. John, a senior learning assistance officer with the GUMURRII Student Support Unit, represented the Yugumbeh people for the handover.
Since starting its journey on Commonwealth Day, 13 March 2017, at Buckingham Palace, the Queen’s Baton has shared the dream of GC2018 with over one third of the world’s population, travelling more than 230,000 kilometres.
Approximately 3,800 batonbearers will carry the Queen’s Baton in Australia.