GOVERNOR General Quentin Bryce will open the gates to Government House this month, with up to 20,000 Canberrans expected to celebrate the Centenary at the historic residence.
The Governor-General’s Centenary Family Picnic Day will be held on the picturesque, 54 hectare property on September 21 and is tipped to be the “largest ever event” for Government House.
The program for the day includes six hours of musical entertainment, sports workshops, market stalls, displays by an RAAF Roulette and the Australian Army’s Red Berets, a petting zoo and reptile display and equestrian mounted games, and an appearance by the controversial Skywhale.
Ms Bryce says a highlight will probably be her Rolls Royce on display outside the house, which has driven the Queen and can “fit about 30 kids in it.”
She says she’s always reminding people “this lovely house” belongs to all Australians.
“I walk here whenever I can, whenever I go away I get into my walking shoes and go around the gardens, and it’s so refreshing and reassuring and delightful and clears the cobwebs out of my head, I think it’s the place I love most and I can’t wait to share it with everyone,” Ms Bryce says.
“I think this day will be a wonderful centrepiece for the Centenary, we’ve been working very hard at planning it for some time now.”
Chief Minister Katy Gallagher says spring is the “perfect” time of year to celebrate at the landmark.
“This event will be the icing on the cake I think, winter is over and it gives us an opportunity to celebrate on a scale we haven’t before,” Ms Gallagher says.
She commended Ms Bryce for her “welcoming” approach in her position as Governor General.
Ms Bryce is due to serve in the position until March next year.
The Governor-General’s Centenary Family Picnic Day will run from 10am to 4pm on September 21, everyone is welcome and entry is free.