19 September 2022

Kids share visions as tree planted in honour of late Queen's extraordinary reign

| Shri Gayathirie Rajen
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Group of school students

Ashmont Public School students who shared their hopes and dreams for the future as part of the tree-planting ceremony are: (back from left) Jaz Phillips, Allencie Derrick, Amayah Morgan and Tyson Subotin; (front) Erin Stevenson, Georgia Griffiths, Jalia Shaqooli, Kaluhm Putland and Te Naera Harbour. Photo: Shri Gayathirie Rajen.

Wagga Wagga City Council commemorated Queen Elizabeth II’s 70 years of service to the Commonwealth with a tree-planting ceremony.

A plaque was unveiled at Jack Misson Oval for the ceremony, which brought together a group of year 6 students from Ashmont Public School, Acting Wagga Wagga Mayor Jenny McKinnon and Wiradjuri and First Nations elder Aunty Mary Atkinson on Friday, 16 September.

The students read out their hopes and dreams for the future at the ceremony. They took turns reading out their submissions and dropped their piece of paper into the hole dug for the tree.

Eleven-year-old Tyson Subotin’s hopes and dreams are not to have bloodshed and war and create a better civilisation.

Tyson said if he were the King, he would make everyone plant a tree on special occasions.

“I want everyone to plant trees, vegetables and crops,” he said.

He hopes for a future with “electric vehicles and electric cities … and to stop producing greenhouse gases”.

When asked about his career aspirations, Tyson quickly listed the areas he has considered.

“I would like to be many things: an astronaut, a truck driver, a delivery person or a shop owner … tons of things. But maybe also a fisherman.”

READ ALSO The Wagga wine that delivered ‘Double Joy’ to the King

Young Georgia Griffiths’ wish list for the future are for the world to be happy and take care of all the animals.

“Everyone should be aware of putting rubbish in the bin (recycling) for our future generations,” the 11-year-old said.

Georgia shared she aspires to become a psychologist.

“I find psychology interesting because you get to help people and also listen to stories.”

Wagga City Council received funding to plant 27 mature trees as part of the Australian Government’s Planting Trees for The Queen’s Jubilee program.

Three people unveil plaque

Wagga Wagga City Council Acting Mayor Jenny McKinnon, Independent Member for Wagga Doctor Joe McGirr and Aunty Mary Atkinson unveiled the plaque for the tree planting ceremony. Photo: Shri Gayathirie Rajen.

At the Jack Misson Oval ceremony, a minute’s silence was observed in honour of the late Queen, followed by Aunty Mary Atkinson’s presentation of Welcome to Country.

Cr McKinnon said the Queen’s reign of 70 years had left a significant, Commonwealth-wide legacy that would continue well into the future.

“Planting trees is a simple gesture, but one that can also have a lasting legacy in honouring Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II,” Cr McKinnon said.

READ ALSO As the Riverina mourns, many remember the Queen’s 145 minutes in Wagga

“These trees will provide our community with a shady and inviting place to gather and increase habitat for local wildlife for decades to come.”

Independent Member for Wagga Dr Joe McGirr, Wagga Councillors Dan Hayes and Amelia Parkins and several community members were also at the ceremony.

The council’s jubilee program grant will also involve Crisp Street Park.

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