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  • First Batonbearers Carry GC2018 Queen's Baton Through the Streets of the Nation's Capital Canberra


    For immediate release

    25 January 2018

    With 69 days to go until the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018) Opening Ceremony, the Queen’s Baton Relay (QBR) has started its nationwide Relay in the nation’s capital, Canberra.

    From the National Arboretum, to the Australian War Memorial, the Queen’s Baton visited some of Canberra’s most iconic landmarks in the hands of a diverse mix of 61 batonbearers.

    Excited crowds gathered at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS), the first stop of the day, where marathon legend and dual Commonwealth Games gold medallist Rob de Castella (Brisbane 1982 and Edinburgh 1986) had the honour of being Canberra’s first Batonbearer.

    “It’s wonderful and a great honour to start off the nationwide journey of the Queen’s Baton Relay. For me there is a great connection with the Relay here at the AIS where so much of my running was done, and also with my two gold medals at the Commonwealth Games.”

    Next the batonbearers, including twelve-year-old Kai Callaway, an avid sportsperson who claims national U12 judo champion two out of three years, zigzagged the Queen’s Baton uphill to the National Arboretum.

    Leaving the Arboretum, cyclists Lachlan Harrigan and Di Evans took to the road with the Queen’s Baton before a pit stop at Dairy Farmers Hill, showcasing the Queen’s Baton specially designed adaptors.

    The Queen’s Baton also travelled by a coxed quad across Lake Burley Griffin with boxing powerhouse and Commonwealth Games gold medallist, Shelley Watts (Delhi 2010).

    Dozens more local legends had the honour of carrying the Queen’s Baton, nominated by their peers for their contribution to community.

    Bringing the first day of the Relay around Australia to an end was Ben Roberts-Smith, VC, MG, who carried the Queen’s Baton to the Australian War Memorial.

    “I represented my country in uniform, so today I am representing all Australians by getting the opportunity to carry the Queen's Baton. It is something that I am very proud of today, being part of the Relay.”

    Canberrans can catch the Queen’s Baton again tomorrow, Friday 26 January, where the symbol of GC2018 will be carried by batonbearers around Lake Burley Griffin before finishing at Commonwealth Park for a celebration at 5:30pm.

    View complete street-level details and Batonbearer names, locations, and timings at

    Follow the Queen’s Baton journey
    QBR URL:
    QBR Hashtag: #QBR2018


    For more information, please contact:
    Kate Shaw – / +61 466 491 718
    Media Team, Queen’s Baton Relay
    Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation (GOLDOC)

    Trish Quayle – / +61 466 355 886
    Communications and Marketing Manager, Queen’s Baton Relay
    Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation (GOLDOC)


    The Queen’s Baton Relay is counting down the days until the start of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018).

    In Australia, the Queen’s Baton will traverse 40,000km, travelling through every state and territory for 100 days.

    Approximately 3,800 batonbearers will carry the Queen’s Baton across Australia.

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

    The Queen’s Baton has already been passed between thousands of people for 288 days across Africa, the Caribbean, the Americas, Europe, Asia and Oceania, building excitement for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018).

    The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018) Queen’s Baton Relay is the longest and most accessible in history, travelling through the entire Commonwealth for 388 days and 230,000km.

    The distinctive design of the Queen’s Baton captures the boundless energy of the Gold Coast. In form and inspiration, the Queen’s 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 HRH The Prince of Wales will remove Her Majesty’s message from the Baton and read it aloud to declare the Games open.