10 September (am) - Honours and Awards under the Australian Honours System
Kaye and I welcome warmly to Government House today recipients of awards under the Australian honours system, their proud families, friends and colleagues, and our special guests.
To the Turrbal and Jagera peoples, who have traditionally been the custodians of the lands around Brisbane, I at once extend respectful greetings.
This is an important day for everyone here and for the broader community. Kaye and I are delighted to have hosted five investiture ceremonies over the past week. However, we have cherished each and every one of them, and, indeed, we see celebrations like today, where we host Queensland’s best in this magnificent setting at Fernberg, the ‘peoples' house’, as one of our most important public duties. We genuinely enjoy sharing this residence, and these special moments, with you, our wonderful fellow Queenslanders.
Many Australians support good causes in one way or another. A great many Australians work hard to achieve personal and professional goals. Our communities benefit from this every day.
But the awardees honoured today are judged to have gone the extra mile, and then further still. Some have devoted decades, even most of a lifetime, to volunteer work. In the process, they have made a positive and substantial difference to the lives of many individuals and to the well-being of their communities.
Others have spent their careers striving for excellence, going beyond the reasonable expectations of a job or profession, perhaps achieving prominence in their chosen field but always creating a notable legacy that benefits their colleagues and organisations.
High level achievement in these circumstances does not come easily. Far more often than not, it involves meeting major challenges along the way and, through hard work, dedication and sheer persistence, overcoming them.
It is therefore with great pleasure that Kaye and I congratulate our award recipients on the signal honour their country has accorded them today; and that we thank them wholeheartedly, on behalf of the Queensland and broader Australian community, for their contributions to our country and State.
The great majority of award recipients – at any investiture ceremony – are not household names, and you won’t see their names splashed across TVs and computer screens, our newspapers and magazines (although I should warn some of you may end up on the Governor of Queensland facebook and Twitter pages).
That you will not see these names regularly in the conventional media makes ceremonies like today all the more remarkable; this is a rare occasion we see the breadth and depth of Australian citizenry at-large, of those who achieve magnificent heights, but who achieve quietly, and with humility.
However, I urge you, just this once, to set aside the humility that characterises many of you, and to accept and enjoy the pride, gratitude, and esteem that abounds in this room today, and in the many congratulations I am sure they have received from the wider community.
I urge you also to wear the symbols of your awards often and with pride. There are others in the community who will be curious about the “badges of honour” you are now entitled to wear and the post-nominals you are entitled to use; many will indeed be inspired by them. Use this opportunity, for it could be an even greater service to the community if your example encouraged others to follow in your footsteps. Peers nominating their fellow citizens is the engine room of the Australian honours system, and so, as is done in the spirit of social media, you could even ‘tag’ someone else by nominating them for an honour.
Kaye and I look forward to offering you all some warm and welcoming Government House hospitality on this special and important occasion as a token of our own gratitude and esteem for the “very best of Queensland” at Government House today.