2015 Pierre de Coubertin Awards Presentation
I acknowledge Minister Byrne, Queensland Olympic Council and Queensland sporting association representatives, Olympians, and of course our Award Recipients and their proud guests. During this significant NAIDOC Week, I too acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands around Brisbane, the Turrbal and Jagera people.
It is an honour to join with you all today as both Governor of Queensland and Patron in Chief of the Queensland Olympic Council.
In just over one year – 391 days and 20 hours to be precise – the world will once again come together to celebrate the pursuit of excellence in human achievement during the twenty-sixteen Rio de Janeiro summer games.
Of course, as these Awards so powerfully recognise, you don’t need to be an Olympian to embrace Olympism.
The recipients to whom I will shortly present these Awards have wonderfully embodied the vision of Baron Pierre de Courbertin, and emulated the values of the Australian Olympic Team.
These values – attitude, sportsmanship, pride, individual responsibility, respect, and expressing yourself, conveniently and aptly referred to as ‘A.S.P.I.R.E’ – will undoubtedly serve you well should you ultimately represent your nation at the highest level.
But more importantly, the Pierre de Coubertin Awards encourage our young Australians to distil these values so that they may be of benefit to their daily lives, thereby benefiting of our communities.
As I mentioned earlier, this week is NAIDOC Week. As this significant reflection time draws to a close, I make specific reference to the ‘R’ aspect of ‘A.S.P.I.R.E’, respect, the postscript of which was amended by the Australian Olympic Council this year to include: “I respect Australia and its indigenous heritage.”
Respect is the touchstone of meaningful reconciliation; I applaud the AOC for its foresight in ensuring the contemporary relevance of the Team values for the benefit of Award Recipients, and our society at large.
I particularly acknowledge both the AOC and the Queensland Olympic Council, and their many supporters, for their focus on education, primarily through these flagship Awards.
The Awards vitally emphasise high personal achievement, while also sustaining ‘community’ by promoting fair treatment, initiative and teamwork. These are inextricably linked: always doing one’s best enhances our capacity to support one another – and this is a truly wonderful thing.
I wish you all the best for your exciting futures. Thank you.