An agri-able visit

The Governor of Tasmania, Her Excellency Professor the Honourable Kate Warner AM (second from right), talks with Smithton High School principal Keith Billing along with students Samuel Greene and Hayley Fisher at Agritas Trade College in Smithton on Monday. Picture: Bodey Dittloff.

Regal. Students, teachers and staff at Agritas welcomed a special entourage on Monday as the new Governor of Tasmania made her first official visit to Smithton.

Sworn in to office as Governor on December 10 last year, Her Excellency Professor the Honourable Kate Warner AM was joined by husband Richard on the north-west coast this month, touring the trade college and discussing agriculture with locals.

With her law background and experience in several positions at the University of Tasmania, Professor Warner gave a glowing review of the facility and its purposes after her inaugural stopover.

“I didn’t know anything about it until I came here,” Professor Warner said. “I just think it’s a fantastic model.”

Agritas chief executive officer Don McLaren was on hand to guide Her Excellency around the building, while Braddon MP Roger Jaensch and Circular Head Deputy Mayor Jan Bishop were also among those in attendance.

In explaining her position to those gathered at the college, Professor Warner described the various roles undertaken at any time throughout the year, including service to legal, constitutional, ceremonial and community aspects.

“It’s a great pleasure to come to Smithton as Governor,” Professor Warner said. “We just have such a varied life – I’m really enjoying it.

“I too have great faith in young people. I’m particularly interested in education so for me, coming along today and hearing about what you’re doing is fabulous.”

Having been recently appointed as chair of the board at Agritas, former Montagu farmer Mike Buckby described the services on offer at the facility as “cutting-edge” and flexible, with a long-term plan looking to further build relationships with local schools.

“We’ve got a really good team on the board – we’ve got a good mix of views and ideas,” he said.

“Instead of using the same model that’s been taught for 10 years, we’ve got to ask: is it relevant now?”

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