1982 Opening Ceremony

1982 Opening Ceremony
Network Ten (Brisbane)
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The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, opens the 1982 Commonwealth Games in Brisbane on 30 September 1982. Reporter John Wiseman covers the opening ceremony for Ten Eyewitness News.

The starting of the ceremony was signalled with a kookaburra's call, followed by the familiar Australian cry of 'cooee'. Six-and-a-half thousand schoolchildren ran into position to create the Australian flag, the Games logo and a map of Australia (minus Tasmania because it 'didn't fit'). The giant winking kangaroo named Matilda was emblematic of 'The Friendly Games'.

Once Matilda completed her lap, her pouch opened and children dressed as joey kangaroos ran out towards small trampolines.

Olympian Raelene Boyle was the final runner in the Queen's Baton Relay. She handed the Queen's message to the Duke of Edinburgh. The Queen herself arrived in Brisbane during the Games and presented some of the medals, including the gold medal to Australian swimmer Tracey Wickham. She also closed the Games.

Matilda was relocated after the games to Wet'n'Wild, a water park on the Gold Coast. In 2011 she moved to a petrol station at Kybong, in the Gympie Region of Queensland.