EXCLUSIVE: New home tipped for Commonwealth Games mascot

Published 2:30pm 3 June 2024

EXCLUSIVE: New home tipped for Commonwealth Games mascot
Words by Jodie Powell

Moreton Bay could soon be home to another Queensland cultural icon, with plans to bring beloved 1982 Commonwealth Games mascot Matilda to the city.

The giant kangaroo captured hearts and imaginations at the Brisbane Games opening ceremony, with her swivelling head, luscious eyelashes and trademark wink.

Matilda was spotted on the back of a City of Moreton Bay vehicle in the vicinity of Kallangur last Tuesday, prompting speculation she was planning a move to the region.

Location under wraps

Image: National Archives of Australia

A Council spokesperson was unable to confirm precise details, but hinted the speculation could be correct.

“We’re hopping with excitement that a suspected Matilda, best known as the 1982 Commonwealth Games kangaroo mascot, has been spotted enroute in City of Moreton Bay,” the spokesperson said.

“As a proud sporting city, with many champions in our midst, Council was delighted when the owners approached us about donating this iconic piece of Aussie sporting history.

“We can’t wait to share more details as they come to hand. Wink, wink!”

Links to history

EXCLUSIVE: New home tipped for Commonwealth Games mascot
Kurt Jones with the Australia sign he campaigned to save

Moreton Bay is already home to another slice of ’80s memorabilia – Ken Done’s Australia sign from Expo 88 is at Caboolture Historical Village after it was rescued from Arethusa College at Deception Bay following an eight-month campaign by student Kurt Jones and restored.

Matilda’s had several homes since the 1982 Games – she sat at the entrance to Cades County Waterpark on the Gold Coast – and was stashed in pieces at the former Matilda petrol station opposite Pine Rivers Park, before taking up residence at Kybong and then moving to a petrol station at Traveston.

The 13m high marsupial sculpture weighed six tonnes – and winking wasn’t her only trick. As the opening ceremony drew to a close, her pouch opened, with 20 children dressed as joey spilling out for a trampolining display.

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