Honours and Awards within the Australian Honours System - Investiture Ceremony (C) for Residents of Queensland
Kaye and I are truly delighted and honoured to welcome to Government House this morning this distinguished group of fellow Queenslanders, their proud families and friends, and our official guest.
As Governor – the representative of our Head of State Her Majesty The Queen, I, along with Kaye, consider hosting these Investiture Ceremonies to be one of our most important duties.
The Australian Honours and Awards are the pre-eminent way our country seeks to recognise outstanding achievement and service.
The citations my Official Secretary has just read out confirm that that service and dedication occur across a wide range of endeavour.
This diversity is a wonderful thing. It recognises the contributions of the men and women who make our State, our nation, what it is today, and what it may become into the future.
The majority of today’s recipients are invested as Officers and Members, or have received their Medal, of the Order of Australia.
Investiture into that Order, or to receive the Public Service Medal as one of our recipients has today, is special, remarkable. It marks your contributions as going ‘above and beyond’. It is recognition that you have taken responsibility for setting the tone of our society, the society in which we all must live cooperatively.
The honours and awards I have just presented to recipients share a unifying motif: mimosa.
Mimosa is closely related to wattle. Apart from being wonderfully and iconically Australian, these members of the Fabacae family are both robust and resilient.
We are in this technology world diverted by that which is immediately fascinating – I too am somewhat guilty, being a recent social media convert myself!
The temptation is to treat temporary fasciation itself as conclusive evidence that something is significant.
The choice of mimosa is therefore apt. Those sprigs remind us that your contributions are lasting contributions – they are robust contributions.
The system that supports the Australian Honours and Awards is equally robust. That system is also largely organic, in that peers nominate peers. It is a system which distils out and recognises those endeavours, which are in our increasingly volatile world, foundational.
There is a particular warmth and historical significance in hosting these important ceremonies here at Government House, Brisbane this year.
This gracious residence, home to Queensland Governors since 1910, is 150 years old.
In this very Investiture Room, beneath the impressive and iconic belvedere on the immaculate lawns, and in the myriad other public spaces of this Estate, Governors (and no doubt prior to that the merchant and politician owners), have sought to memorably recognise the remarkable efforts of fellow Queenslanders.
You each add richly to the fabric of our State, and that of this magnificent Estate – which belongs to and is to be shared and enjoyed by all the people of Queensland.
I want now to acknowledge those family and friends present here today, particularly to the family of the late Mr Thomas Paradissis. You have no doubt provided our recipients with ample and able support. You are all to be commended. The hospitality that will shortly be provided is in our small way a sincere ‘thank you’ to you all.
And in that view, I also want to commend the staff of Government House, led by the Official Secretary, for their support for these signature events. Our grounds and house staff regard these events with great respect, and do their utmost to ensure your experience is wonderfully memorable. I know I speak with your approbation, in saying ‘they succeed’.