QUEENSLAND Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk returned to where it all started with a visit to St Mary's College at the weekend.
She attended the Ipswich school during the 80s before heading to university and into the world of politics.
Ms Palaszczuk was the guest of honour at the school's inaugural gala dinner on Saturday night where she was awarded St Mary's College Mercy Medal.
She said she had fond memories of her time at the school.
"To be chosen as the first-ever recipient of the St Mary's College Mercy Medal is both a wonderful surprise and incredibly humbling," she said.
"I thank St Mary's for what truly is a great honour.
"Like many, I have benefited from what I consider to be an outstanding education in the Mercy tradition."
Ms Palaszczuk said she was proud of her Ipswich background and the influence it has had on her life.
"It was lovely to return to Ipswich again," she said.
"The social justice principles of the Sisters of Mercy have shaped some of the most important and enduring lessons I learned.
"For the rest of my life I will carry the lessons of compassion, equity, and fairness."