Honours and Awards within the Australian Honours System - Investiture Ceremony (A) for Residents of Queensland
Kaye and I warmly welcome to Government House today recipients of Honours and Awards under the Australian Honours System, the proud families, friends and colleagues who have come to share this important day with them, and our special guests, who honour us with their presence.
Today is a celebration of all that is good and admirable in our society.
We have just witnessed the highest levels of national recognition presented for exceptional service to the community, and for exceptional achievement, to this group of residents of Queensland.
As the award citations demonstrate, this is a group that represents many facets of Queensland life, and that is drawn from many parts of our State.
There are individuals who have made marvellous contributions in sport, through a variety of community organisations, and through outstanding achievement in their chosen industry or profession.
And it is fitting that, less than two weeks after the centenary of the Gallipoli landings, nearly half of today’s awardees have connections with Australia’s armed forces, through active service or support for veterans.
The posthumous award of a Commendation for Gallantry to Sergeant Clifford Danaher, who paid with his life for escaping from a Japanese prisoner of war camp in Burma in 1942, is especially poignant.
Within this great variety there is one characteristic that all the award recipients share, which is that they are “doers”. Their achievements are a striking illustration of the words of Carl Jung, one of the fathers of psychology, when he said: “You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do”.
And what this group has done is memorable.
One was recognised for a conspicuous act of courage and daring in wartime. Lest we forget.
Other awardees have seen a pressing need in the community and acted selflessly, often over many decades, to meet it.
Still others have gone far beyond the reasonable requirements of their profession in their pursuit of excellence.
And some have somehow managed to do both. They must lead unimaginably busy lives!
All of these examples represent ways of serving our communities that we readily admire and applaud. This is because today’s awardees are exemplars of compassion, generosity and conspicuous dedication.
These fine individuals are what we might once have called “quiet Australians”. The ethos guiding their service to our communities echoes the ANZAC spirit that we celebrated so recently.
The military awards presented today are a fine illustration of the continuing strength of that spirit in our armed forces.
The civilian awards also take inspiration from that spirit: service to the community has been generously given, with great dedication but without fanfare, without seeking accolades.
As a result, these individuals may not be well-known beyond their immediate communities, organisations and professions. They are the unsung Australians – until today, at least – who, at the cost of substantial personal sacrifice, make our communities stronger and more resilient.
I thank them for the many ways in which they, or those they represent, have made Queensland and Australia better places. I congratulate them on the great honour done to them by their country today.
I encourage award recipients to wear the symbols of your awards as often as possible.
These are not only badges of honour, but also a means of drawing in others so that your stories can be shared. In that way, you will inspire others to emulate you.
As a modest, celebratory “thank you” for your marvellous contributions to our community, Kaye and I cordially invite you to enjoy our Government House hospitality and to meet the other awardees.
Kaye and I look forward to meeting you.
Enjoy this very special day.