The Commonwealth baton arrives at Point Lookout, North Stradbroke Island

When Quandamooka elder Aunty Rose Borey brought the Commonwealth baton to Point Lookout on January 8 she did it for a united community.

She said she felt privileged to live on North Stradbroke Island and represent the whole community in carrying the baton.

“This isn’t just for the aboriginal community.  I have grown up here and the island is such a friendly and welcoming place. We have so much and we are so lucky to live in a place like this.  I thank God for what we have here.  There are no divisions.  We are just one open friendly community and I hope we can keep it that way,” she said.

Aunty Rose, aged 88, said she did not know why she was chosen to carry the baton, but was proud to do so.

“This time will never be forgotten. A lot of people could have been picked.  I haven’t really done anything.  I’m not a sportsperson or anything.  It has been a responsibility and privilege to carry the baton for everyone.  Honestly, it has been unexpected and little bit overwhelming.  I don’t think I realised the enormity and the importance of the job,” she said.

In carrying the baton, Aunty Rose made Point Lookout the first Queensland destination for the baton..

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the Queen’s Baton event celebrated much more than the upcoming XXI Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast on April 4.

“The Queen’s Baton is a source of inspiration and pride for the communities that it visits and also a visual reminder to our aspiring young sports people that dreams can be realised,” Cr Williams said.

“Over the last 300 days since the Baton commenced its journey, it has touched the lives of more than a third of the world’s population and with today’s visit to the Redlands it shines a light on North Stradbroke Island in the heart of Quandamooka Country.”

“It is particularly exciting that the baton is celebrated on Straddie as it is home of Quandamooka artist Delvene Cockatoo-Collins, whose wonderful coast-inspired designs feature on the Commonwealth Games medals.”

Also at the event were surfing champion and Stradbroke local Bede Durbidge and  Queensland Firebird Jemma Mi Mi.

The visit is the first of two with the Queen’s Baton returning to Redland City on March 31.

The Baton will be carried from Cleveland Lighthouse Reserve, along North Street, Shore Street North and Shore Street West before arriving at Raby Bay Harbour Park, where there will be a free community celebration from 8.30am-12.30pm.

Redlander and TV personality Lincoln Lewis and Olympic Gold medallist and beach volleyball star Natalie Cook OAM will MC this event, which will include a traditional ceremony, cultural demonstrations and workshops, activities, the Yulu-Burri-Ba dancers and food stalls,” Cr Williams said.

The Baton will then continue to Waterloo Street before it leaves the Redlands.

Notable locals were among the 19 baton-bearers selected for the Cleveland leg of the Queen’s Baton Relay include Deborah Acason, Jack de Boer, Kieron Douglass, Jade Edmistone,  Daniel Fox, Tatiana Grigorieva, Luke Harvey,  George Hill, Jamie Hiscock, Rod Hutton, Ari Jelekainen, Johaan Kaa, Christine Kidd,  Jade Lucey,  Leon McNiece, Claire Rickard,  Dawn Rubie, Mark Urquhart and Edwina Wordsworth.

The Queen’s Baton will arrive on the Gold Coast for the XXI Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony on April 4, where His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales will remove Her Majesty’s message from the Baton and read it aloud to declare the Games officially open.