Queen’s Baton Relay: carrying new message as part of history

PROUD: Passionate Anzac ambassador Alyssa Britnell, pictured at the Garden of the Grieving Mother, is humbled to be nominated as a Commonwealth Games batonbearer in her hometown. Picture: Kate Healy
PROUD: Passionate Anzac ambassador Alyssa Britnell, pictured at the Garden of the Grieving Mother, is humbled to be nominated as a Commonwealth Games batonbearer in her hometown. Picture: Kate Healy
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ANZAC Ambassador Alyssa Britnell is preparing to play an important role in history of a different kind. A slightly royal kind.

Ms Britnell, whose speech at the Garden of the Grieving Mother opening brought tears to the Governor-General’s eyes, will now help convey Queen Elizabeth II’s words to Commonwealth athletes.

The Queen’s Baton Relay will call on 28 tireless community volunteers and athletes as messengers through Ballarat on Tuesday. She joins a convoy that stretched from Buckingham Palace last month through every Commonwealth nation and territory on its way to the Gold Coast.

Ms Britnell said it was humbling to play a part.

“I remember when I was in Prep watching the Comm Games baton go past my school,” Ms Britnell said. “I’m part of the Ballarat running community too, so it’s so exciting to be involved.”

Ms Britnell is planning a slow jog for her 200-metre duties – just enough to really lap up the moment in what is a likely once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

History remains a strong passion for Ms Britnell, who is a Hallmark High-Achiever Scholar at La Trobe University where she in is her third year studying law-arts and majoring in politics. 

Back home in Ballarat, Ms Britnell is the youngest member on the City of Ballarat’s Arch of Victory and Avenue of Honour committee. Ms Britnell’s moving poem at last year’s Garden of the Grieving Mother ceremony earned the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia: Commander-in-Chief Australian Defence Force Medallion in recognition of her dedication to upholding the Anzac legacy.

She remains resolute to keep the history alive among young Australians, particularly those in her hometown.

“It’s really important to understand your ancestors and what they experienced...being part of your community,” Ms Britnell said. 

“It’s really important to keep Anzac stories going for generations , being able to get their stories out in public and acknowledge the people and history of Australia.”

The Queen’s Baton Relay will arrive in Ballarat about 12.20pm on Tuesday en route from Werribee.

The baton will pass by the Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka and Ballarat Town Hall before a community celebration and short ceremony at Lake Wendouree.

Ballarat marks day-50 in the Australian leg of the relay, with the Queen’s message to be read aloud at the opening ceremony on the Gold Coast on April 4.

Ballarat’s Commonwealth Games batonbearers

  • Shane Bamford (Hawaii Ironman/police mental health advocate)
  • Olivia Beer (emerging junior basketballer)
  • Michael Benoit (athletics coach)
  • Shane Bicknell (Ballarat Little Athletics president)
  • John Bissinella (sustainable housing champion)
  • Peter Blackburn (Olympic badminton, four-time Commonweath Games bronze medallist)
  • John Bond (athletics coach)
  • Raymond Borner (Olympic basketball)
  • John Box (football stalwart, Soup Bus Ballarat)
  • Alyssa Britnell (Anzac ambassador)
  • Barry Brooks (Country Fire Authority life member)
  • Rory Carroll (international para-table tennis)
  • Brendan Cutts (physiotherapist, stroke prevention ambassador)
  • Michelle Donaldson (Ballarat Young Carers Award 2016, Australian junior dragon boat racer)
  • Monique Ford (foster carer, community volunteer all-rounder)
  • Tahlia Hope (apprentice jockey)
  • Bill Liston (aged-care worker, great neighbour)
  • Corey Loader (Venturer scout)
  • Ross McIIveen (Camperdown athletics official)
  • Bayden Mellington (Rokewood community all-rounder)
  • Steve Moneghetti (Olympic marathon runner, Commonwealth Games gold medallist, chef de mission and village mayor)
  • Tayla Moody (junior gymnastics coach)
  • Morgan Murphy (decorated swim coach, para-swim classifier)
  • Pam Ryan (Olympian, spint hurdler, six-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist)
  • Jared Tallent (Olympic walk gold medallist, Commonwealth Games gold medallist) 
  • Richard Tann (retired engineer, avid runner and Tann Clan founder)
  • Nikolay Tchorbadjiysky (Commonwealth, Pan-Am and Olympic Games volunteer)

Rolling road closures for relay convoy

Road closures may be subject to slight variations. Parking clearances will also be in place.

BLOCK ONE, 12-1.10pm: Rodier Street, Eureka Street, Scobie Court, Kline Street, Stawell Street, Charlesworth Street, Victoria Street (and service road), Chamberlain Street, Queens Street, Otway Street, Kings Street, Barkly Street, Mair Street.

BLOCK TWO, 12-1.10pm: East Street, Humffray Street Sth, Main Road, Little Bridge Street, Peel Street, Grenville Street, Sturt Street, Albert Street, Lydiard Street Sth, Townhall Lane, Armstrong Street Sth, Doveton Street Sth, Dana Street.

BLOCK THREE, 12.40-1.50pm: Dawson Street Sth, Eyre Street, Lyons Street Sth, Raglan Street Sth, Errand Street Sth, Drummond Street Sth, Dana Street, Sturt Street.

BLOCK FOUR, 1.10-2pm: Sturt Street, Windermere Street, Ascot Street Sth, Talbot Street Sth, Rippon Street Sth, Pleasant Street Sth and adjoining laneways.

BLOCK FIVE: 2-3.15pm: Pleasant Street, Sussex Street, Kangaroo Place, Mair Street roundabout.

BLOCK SIX: 2-3.15pm: Pleasant Street, Wendouree Parade, Parade Court, Rippon Street, Webster Street, Victoria Avenue, Mill Street.

WENDOUREE PARADE: closed 11am-4pm for community event at View Point.

Victoria Police also require all parked vehicles along the east-bound side of Sturt and both sides of Doveton Street South to remain stationery once the relay starts.