Honours and Awards within the Australian Honours System - Investiture Ceremony (B) for Residents of Queensland
Kaye and I are delighted to see you all at Government House today. We warmly welcome our award recipients, a proud and happy group of their families, friend and colleagues, and our equally proud and happy special guests.
“Happy” is unquestionably the right description for this ceremony. This is, after all, a day on which these twenty-two distinguished residents of this State have received their country’s highest honours and awards.
It is a day on which they have joined an exclusive and much-admired “club” of Australians who have been honoured in this way.
And it is a day on which Kaye and I have the great pleasure and honour of being closely involved in inducting awardees into this exclusive group.
The group that is the focus of all this well-deserved praise and happiness is not, at first glance, an easy one to characterise.
The citations read out earlier paint a picture of a highly diverse group of Australians serving their communities in highly diverse ways.
Seen from that perspective, they appear more different than alike. But the symbols of their honours and awards that they now proudly wear tell us that they do indeed have something important and profound in common.
A moment’s reflection suggests that this something combines two elements: what they value and how they live these values in their everyday lives.
Some are emergency service personnel who have gone beyond the call of duty even for that already much admired and respected group.
Many of today’s awardees have devoted decades to serving those in our communities who merit particular regard and concern. Veterans and their families are one such group.
So too are those who are vulnerable because of advancing age, illness, disability, or other difficult life circumstances.
Still others have made their marvellous contributions to our communities through distinguished achievement in their professions, including the public service.
Each of them, in their own unique way, has made a highly positive difference to our communities.
This may have involved evident compassion, reassurance, a smile and a friendly word, and a strong focus on practical help – good intentions out into practice.
It may have involved much tenacity and determination. Or maintaining the highest standards of preparation, training, and professionalism. It may have involved putting themselves at risk to save and protect others.
Or it may be several of these at once.
By these means, every day, and to our enormous benefit, our award winners make and re-make a society that is more compassionate, determined and resilient.
But – you cannot achieve a fraction of this by restricting yourself to standard hours or believing that near enough is good enough. You cannot give up when the challenges mount, or take a rest day because you are not in the mood.
This is the price of commitment, and it is a price today’s award recipients have readily paid, with no thought of recognition or accolade.
Nevertheless, someone has decided that their efforts are over and above the ordinary and has nominated them for honours or awards.
And, after a rigorous selection process applied to all nominations for honours and awards, they are here with us today, the deserving focus of our pride, admiration and appreciation.
As Governor, privileged to speak for all the people of Queensland, I thank today’s award recipients wholeheartedly for their wonderful and selfless contributions to our communities.
I urge you to share your stories with others so that more will be inspired to emulate you.
Kay and I look forward to offering you our hospitality and to hearing, in person, your marvellous stories.
Enjoy this happy day.