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CHOGM 2011: "Huge BBQ to mark departure of Queen Elizabeth II"
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CHOGM 2011: "Huge BBQ to mark departure of Queen Elizabeth II"

Amanda McClintockWorld leaders are in Perth on the west coast of Australia this week to take part in the biennial Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).

Amanda McClintock, 19, a Commonwealth Correspondent from Queensland, reports on the enormous barbecue thrown to mark the departure of Queen Elizabeth II, head of the 54-member state association.

Thousands of people lined the Perth foreshore from as early as 4am for the biggest BBQ Western Australia has seen in years  and to say farewell Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II as she departed from Australia on Saturday.

Bunnings and Coles, two major Australian companies under the Wesfarmers banner put on a huge BBQ in honour of the Queen and to raise money for a variety of charities such as rotary along with others.

With sausages going for $2 each all the money was going to charities to make a difference to the lives of those less fortunate than us. People had been waiting behind the barriers and police escorts since 4 in the morning for a chance to see the Queen and present her with gifts and tokens of gratitude. Speaking to the first lady to arrive she said “I saw the Queen the first time she came to Australia and I had made this paper crown to wear when I met her and now my daughter is wearing that crown. This is a special and momentous occasion for us all and I want my daughter to be a part of it.”

Another man who had been waiting since early in the morning was there to meet the Queen and pay his respects. “She does a god job of running the place and she seems like a lovely lady. She is all round a pretty cool chic,” And it seemed that this was the reigning sentiment across the crowd. Families were showing up to spend time together and make memories that would last a lifetime.

As the Queen walked down the pathway forged by security barriers and police officers, hundreds of children eagerly waited to hand her their flowers, drawings or paintings and soft toys. Her Majesty graciously accepted these gifts, understanding the significance of these gifts from the young people giving her the gifts. Meanwhile Prince Phillip went to have a look at the Barbeque and check on the progress of cooking the sausages. It turns out he is quite the BBQ extraordinaire.

Giving a speech to honour the Queen, Western Australia Premier Colin Barnett thanked Her Majesty for coming to Perth saying “May I simply say on behalf of all Western Australians, thank you for visiting our country, thank you for visiting the state of Western Australia and thank you for being here at the big Aussie barbecue.”

Her Majesty responded, sharing her gratitude for the way CHOGM had gone and the effort of all Western Australian’s in the process “Mr. Premier, I offer my congratulations to you and to the people of WA on the presentation of a most successful heads of Commonwealth government’s meeting,” she said. “You have endeared yourself to the international Commonwealth community.”

To the smell of 120,00 sausages cooking on over 100 BBQ’s the Queen and Prince Phillip left the event to arrive at the airport before flying home to the UK this afternoon. A triumphant trip for her Majesty, and memories that will long be remembered by the people who came out to see her today and during her whole trip.

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About me:

“I am a working-class girl, full-time university student and mental health advocate from sunny south-east Queensland.

“Living in a small country town after growing up in the city only increased my passion for making a difference in my community and further afield, and for speaking up about the issues that matter most. Youth have a voice and it needs to be heard. Stand Up, Speak Up and Be Heard!”

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?

To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/commonwealthcorrespondents/

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