Local batonbearers announced

Wednesday, 18 October 2017
Local batonbearers announced

The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation (GOLDOC) has announced two local batonbearers who will carry the Queen’s Baton in Queenscliff during the 100-day countdown to the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018).

Across the community, hundreds of people will get the opportunity to engage with the Baton as it spends quality time in the region, arriving in Queenscliff on 12 February 2018.

Our batonbearers are:

George Abel, the founder and inventor of the Birdman Rally. George created the Rally in England in 1971 to raise funds for the Royal Air Force Association for Retired Personnel.  When George immigrated to Australia, he brought the Birdman Rally with him and it is still going strong 46 years later. This event has provided joy and entertainment to thousands over the years and is truly a fun, friendly and vibrant experience for the whole community.

Suzanne Winton, an active tennis player at Point Lonsdale. Her commitment, skill and energy on the court and her untiring volunteerism inspire many younger members of the club. Suzanne was Club Champion from 1989 to 1992 and won 12 premierships, including five as captain, over 25 years. Sue was Secretary of PLTC from 1989 to 2013 and still serves on the Committee. In January, she is at the courts everyday. Suzanne is spirited and shines on social occasions, making everyone feel welcome and involved.

“I am immensely proud of our batonbearers and the role they will take when the Queen’s Baton comes to Queenscliff,” said Borough of Queenscliffe Mayor, Councillor Tony Francis.

“Being a batonbearer recognises their contributions to community in the Borough of Queenscliffe and further abroad. I encourage everybody to show their support for George and Suzanne at the Queen’s Baton Relay this summer.”

Collectively across the country, batonbearers will take more than a million steps to bring the Baton to its final destination, the Games’ Opening Ceremony on 4 April 2018.

“We couldn’t be more excited for the batonbearers who will be a part of this rich tradition,” said GOLDOC Chairman Peter Beattie AC. “We are honoured to have so many great Australians carry Her Majesty’s message for Gold Coast 2018 and we look forward to celebrating their stories and inspiring generations to come. For the batonbearers, this will be a rare and unforgettable experience.” 

The uniquely designed Baton starts its Australian journey on 25 December 2017, 100 days before the Opening Ceremony. For one month during the school summer holidays, the Queen’s Baton will visit major events, iconic landmarks and children’s hospitals.

From Canberra on 25 January 2018, the Baton will switch gears to a traditional Relay and be carried by great Australians through QBR celebration communities around the country.

Street level and community celebration details will be announced on 17 November.

Since its launch from Buckingham Palace on 13 March 2017, the Baton has inspired athletes and fans across Africa, the Caribbean, the Americas and Europe. Currently it is in Malaysia and is set to visit the remaining 15 Commonwealth nations in Asia and Oceania before arriving in Brisbane on Christmas Eve.

It will be 60 years since a Baton first carried Her Majesty’s message to athletes of the Commonwealth at the Cardiff 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Wales.

A list of batonbearer names and the communities in which they will carry the Baton is available at gc2018.com/qbr.

Follow the action on social media with QBR hashtag #QBR2018 and GC2018 hashtags #GC2018 and #SHARETHEDREAM.


The Queen’s Baton Relay (QBR) continues to connect the Gold Coast with the entire Commonwealth.

Already the Baton has been passed between thousands of people across Africa, the Caribbean, the Americas and Europe, building excitement for GC2018.

The GC2018 Relay is the longest and most accessible in history, travelling through the entire Commonwealth for 388 days and 230,000 kilometres.

The Baton engages with all Commonwealth nations and territories of Africa, the Caribbean, the Americas, Europe, Asia and Oceania for 288 days before it arrives in Australia for a further 100 days.

The Baton arrives in Brisbane on Christmas Eve and approximately 3,800 batonbearers will carry it through every state and territory in Australia.

The Relay started on Commonwealth Day, Monday 13 March 2017, at Buckingham Palace when Her Majesty placed Her message inside the Baton.

The distinctive design of the GC2018 Queen’s Baton captures the boundless energy of the Gold Coast. In form and inspiration, the Baton is a symbol of our past, present and future.

The Queen’s Baton arrives on the Gold Coast for the XXI Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony on 4 April 2018, where the Prince of Wales will remove Her Majesty’s message from the Baton and read it aloud to declare the Games open.