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Queen's Baton Relay

GC2018 Queen’s Baton

Discover the distinctive elements of the Queen’s Baton.

The Queen’s Message

The Queen’s message will be printed on a special paper made from Spinifex; a grass-like plant that has extensive traditional indigenous uses. Held safely on the side of the Baton, the folded Queen’s message can be seen through a clear window.

Bold Rebellious Spirit

The GC2018 Queen’s Baton embodies the boundless energy of the people, place and spirit of the Gold Coast. The Baton form is bold, a rebellious spirit, beautiful to look at but unique and unforgettable; just like the Gold Coast.

Bright Boundless Energy

When people come together amazing things happen. As the Baton is passed from hand to hand, a bright boundless energy will light up the Baton in colours that reflect the warmth and spirit of the Gold Coast.

Connection to Country

The Gold Coast is a place of strong contrasts and deep connections. The Baton personifies our connection to the ocean and the land with the selection of contrasting materials and finishes. The warm, natural, earthy macadamia wood contrasts the bright, structured reclaimed plastic leading edge. Separated by a stainless steel stringer, you can see the linear reflection of the coastline and hinterland in the Baton’s form.

Macadamia Wood

The macadamia tree is native to the Gold Coast region and serves as an important symbol and example of traditional indigenous sustainable cultural practice. As groups travelled through Country, macadamia nuts were planted along the journey to mark the way and provide sustenance for future generations.

Stainless Steel Stringer

The mirror finish of the stainless steel stringer will create a literal reflection of the Baton’s present surrounds everywhere it travels. Laser-engraved in sequential order are the three-digit alpha codes of all nations and territories of the Commonwealth, providing a visual depiction of the epic journey the Queen’s Baton will take.

Leading Edge

The front leading edge is made using reclaimed plastic collected from the ocean, waterways, beaches and surrounding areas of the Gold Coast. The repurposed plastic makes us think about over-consumption, pollution and how together we can create a sustainable future for generations to come.

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About the Queen's Baton Relay

The Queen’s Baton Relay (QBR) is a Games tradition that celebrates the Commonwealth’s diversity, inspires community pride and excites people about the world-class festival of sports and culture to come.

The Queen’s Baton carries a message from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II that calls the Commonwealth’s athletes to come together in peaceful and friendly competition.

The GC2018 Relay will be the longest and the most accessible ever, not just passing through, but spending quality time in each community it visits.

Commencing on 13 March 2017 at Buckingham Palace, the Baton will travel on an epic 388 day journey through all nations and territories of the Commonwealth.

The Queen’s Baton will arrive on the Gold Coast for the XXI Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony on 4 April 2018, where Her Majesty, or a representative, will remove the message from the Baton and read it aloud to officially open the Games.

Baton Story

The Queen’s Baton is an exceptionally high-profile, tangible icon of the Games; and an inspiring symbol that will connect the Commonwealth with Australia, Queensland and the Gold Coast.

The Queen’s Baton

Each host nation of the Commonwealth Games has the responsibility to create a Queen’s Baton. It needs to not only reflect design, cultural and human values it must also genuinely engage and inspire the Commonwealth to come together to celebrate GC2018.

The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation appointed Designworks, a small Brisbane company based in West End, to design, engineer and manufacture the GC2018 Queen’s Baton. All elements of the Queen’s Baton are a tightly kept secret until the launch celebration.

Community Immersion

Community played a large role in the GC2018 Baton design process. Deep immersion helped the designers absorb the culture and gain insights into the place, people and spirit of the Gold Coast.

This immersion included several workshops with local Yugambeh and wider Queensland mobs, including Torres Strait Islanders, to determine appropriate themes, stories and narrative for the Baton. There was also broad consultation with other community groups and public interactions, including: lifeguards, artists and arts community members, manufacturers, entrepreneurs and Health Care workers.

Surf Craft Heritage

The Baton’s shape, form and the contrasting materials used are reminiscent of surfboards, surfboats and other surf craft heritage. Smooth elegant lines, perfect surfaces, and clean crisp changes between materials evoke the feeling of gliding over and through the water. Light reflects off the metal stringer, mimicking the sun striking the Gold Coast skyscrapers and glinting at sunrise and sunset.

Spinifex Paper

Spinifex is a grass-like plant with extensive traditional indigenous uses. Created in Queensland using Spinifex nano materials and resin sourced from North West Queensland alongside other Aboriginal initiatives, the custom-made paper is an example of what can be achieved by combining traditional techniques and modern material technology. The University of Queensland and the Griffith Centre for Creative Arts Research worked together to produce the bespoke paper. The cutting edge Spinifex material was combined with traditional paper making techniques to create a unique paper that is incredibly thin, tough and beautiful.

Macadamia Wood

Recognising the past, acknowledging the present, and looking to the future.

The macadamia tree is native to the Gold Coast region and serves as an important symbol and example of traditional sustainable cultural practice. As groups travelled through Country, macadamia nuts were planted along the journey to mark the way and provided sustenance for future generations. Elders would do this with children and at the same time share knowledge, information and stories. Therefore, the macadamia tree not only provided food sustenance, but cultivated the youth into the future.

The Macadamia Seed Story as told by Patricia O’Connor.

Reclaimed Plastic

The use of reclaimed plastic in the Baton’s leading edge raises awareness for sustainable practise. Designworks worked with the City of Gold Coast and local environmental and conscious community groups to collect plastic from the ocean, waterways, beaches and surrounding areas of the Gold Coast.

The process of sorting, cleaning, and melting to create the leading edge out of reclaimed material was all completed in-house at Designworks.


The Baton itself is designed with accessibility in mind. The shape provides multiple grip positions allowing the Baton to be carried with comfort regardless of hand size. There is also a harness that the Baton can be carried in for people who may not be able to carry the Baton in their hand.

The Baton adaptor is a key item for consideration in the design process. The adaptor is specifically designed to hold the Baton on various modes of transport; for example, wheelchair, bicycle, boat, or where the Baton needs to be secured safely for water-based activities or climbing.

Manufacturing techniques

Assembled using additive manufacturing technology and CNC machining for precision, incredible consideration has been given to ensure there was minimal manufacturing waste in the creation of the Baton. Where there was excess material, such as sawdust or reclaimed plastic, the material was recycled or repurposed.


Technology has been incorporated into the Baton function. The Baton has its own App that will be used to control the different settings for the energy efficient LED colour illumination and battery status. GPS technology on board will allow the Baton to be tracked in real time as it travels around the Commonwealth.

International Journey

See where the Queen’s Baton will travel on its epic journey.


When and where does the GC2018 Queen’s Baton Relay start?
The GC2018 QBR begins at Buckingham Palace on Commonwealth Day, Monday 13 March 2017. At a commencement ceremony, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will place her message into the Baton and entrust it to the first Batonbearer.
What is the significance of the Baton?
Besides safely containing Her Majesty’s message, the Baton shines a spotlight on the Gold Coast and the great Games to come. As it is passed from hand to hand, the Baton embraces the modern and multicultural Commonwealth of today.
Who designed the GC2018 Queen’s Baton?
Each host city is responsible for delivering a new design for the Queen’s Baton. In December 2015, Designworks, a local West End, Brisbane-based firm, were tasked with creating a Baton that embodies the spirit and vibrancy of the city, Queensland and GC2018.
Where does the Queen’s Baton travel to?
The GC2018 Queen’s Baton will travel to all nations and territories of the Commonwealth.
What about Australia?
The Queen’s Baton will visit every state and territory in Australia. Final planning for the domestic sector is underway and Australian Celebration Communities will be announced in March 2017.
Who carries the Baton?
Batonbearers represent the spirit of the Commonwealth and inspire others every day to be great. A community Batonbearer nomination program will give thousands of everyday Australians the chance to Share the Dream and carry the Queen’s Baton with pride. Details on how to be a part of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity will be released in March 2017.
Is the Queen’s Baton Relay the same as the Olympic Torch Relay?
Unlike the Olympic Torch, of which there are many in one relay, there is only one Queen’s Baton that is passed between thousands of people around the world. To date the QBR has travelled further and to more nations than any Olympic Torch.
What format does the Relay take?
Unlike a classic relay, running is not essential to the QBR and batonbearers may travel at their own pace. The Relay is inclusive and open to people of all abilities; specially designed adaptors are available to accommodate different transport modes and Batonbearer abilities.


Stay in the loop with the Queen's Baton Relay here.

Fast Facts

nations & territories visited
days travelled
288 International
100 Australia
total kilometres travelled
Commonwealth citizens aged 25 & under
Starts at
Buckingham Palace
13 March 2017
Commonwealth Day
Opening Ceremony
Gold Coast
4 April 2018
International Sector Sponsor Family

QBR Social Hub