Townsville to welcome Queen's Baton in lead up to Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games

Date published: 5 March 2017

Local legends are being called on to carry the Queen’s Baton in Townsville as it prepares to host the Queen’s Baton Relay.

The eyes of the Commonwealth will be on Townsville from March 18 and 19, 2018 as the Baton journeys towards its final destination, the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018) Opening Ceremony on 4 April 2018.

Across Australia about 3,800 batonbearers are needed to share the dream of the ‘friendly Games’ as part of the QBR. A community nomination program, which opens today, will offer the people of Townsville and the surrounding region with an opportunity to carry the baton.

Batonbearers are people of all abilities who inspire others to be great.

Batonbearers will represent a community with pride and showcase to the world the region’s people, sporting achievements, cultural activity, landscapes and much more.

Setting off in Australia on 25 December 2017, the baton will travel for 100 days to connect with as many people as possible in every state and territory.

The Queen’s Baton carries a message from Her Majesty The Queen through the entire Commonwealth. The Games are declared officially open when the message is read aloud.

In just eight days the Baton will start its global journey at Buckingham Palace on Commonwealth Day, Monday 13 March. It will travel through every Commonwealth nation and territory on its way to Australia.

From today until 15 May 2017, anyone can nominate a person who inspires them to be great. Nominations can be made at

GC2018 are looking for people who:

  • Have achieved something extraordinary or inspired others to achieve something extraordinary; or
  • Have made a significant contribution to either sport, education, the arts, culture, charity or within their community; or
  • Have excelled, or aspire to excel athletically or personally; or
  • Contribute to a fun, friendly, vibrant and inclusive community;
  • Are at least 10 years old as at 25 December 2017; and
  • Are an Australian citizen or lawfully entitled to reside in Australia during the Relay period (25 December 2017 – 4 April 2018).

Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said she was delighted the baton would come through Townsville.

“We’re excited to be a part of an event that will take Townsville to the world and I encourage you to nominate a local legend you think deserves to be a Batonbearer, whether they’re an aspiring young person or someone who is already accomplished,” Cr Hill said.

“The Queen’s Baton Relay is a rare opportunity to shine a light on the people and places that help make our community truly great.

“The Queen’s Baton Relay is not only a symbol of the Commonwealth Games, but an event that will connect Townsville with communities across Australia and the entire Commonwealth.

“It’s a tradition that celebrates community pride and that shows us how important a role sport plays to build our great community, which is why we’ve chosen to embrace the Baton’s visit wholeheartedly. And it means Townsville will play an important part in the largest multi-sport event to be staged in Australia in a decade.

“I for one can’t wait for the start of the QBR on Commonwealth Day, Monday 13 March, and to follow its journey around the world on its way to Townsville and the Opening Ceremony of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.”

Note to Editors:

  • The Queen’s Baton Relay takes a message from Her Majesty The Queen around the Commonwealth to the Opening Ceremony of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
  • The GC2018 Relay is the longest in history, travelling for 388 days and 230,000 kilometres.
  • In Australia the Baton will travel for 100 days through every state and territory, showcasing Australia’s history, culture, traditions, geography and people to the world.
  • Approximately 3800 batonbearers will take the Queen’s message around Australia.
  • The GC2018 Relay has been designed to be inclusive and accessible, giving as many people as possible an opportunity to spend quality time with the Baton.
  • On Commonwealth Day, Monday 13 March, at Buckingham Palace, Her Majesty The Queen will place Her message into the Baton and hand it to the first Batonbearer.
  • From London, the Baton will travel to all Commonwealth nations and territories for 288 days before arriving in Australia for the final leg of the journey.
  • The Baton will reach its final destination at Carrara Stadium for the Games’ Opening Ceremony on 4 April 2018. The Games are declared open when the Queen’s message is read aloud.
  • Each host city is responsible for delivering a new design for the Queen’s Baton. The GC2018 Queen’s Baton design was revealed on 20 November 2016 and captures the boundless energy of the Gold Coast.
  • The QBR is a longstanding Games tradition and the ultimate symbol of the Commonwealth Games. Since the Cardiff 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games, the Queen’s Baton has carried a message from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II calling the Commonwealth’s athletes to come together in peaceful and friendly competition at the Games.

* QBR Hashtag:  #QBR2018
* GC2018 Hashtag: #GC2018, #SHARETHEDREAM