The United Nations of Australia Association (Queensland Division) Queensland Community Awards
Speech delivered as Administrator of the Government of the Commonwealth of Australia:
Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. It is again a pleasure to host members of the Queensland Division of the United Nations of Australia Association together with members of the Consular Corps, distinguished guests and importantly, the winners of the Association’s 2015 Queensland Community awards.
In this seventieth anniversary year of the United Nations it is timely to reflect on Australia’s long standing commitment to the United Nations - a commitment which commenced in 1945 when Australia, together with fifty other nations, became a founding member of the world body.
Australia took a leading role in the United Nations from the organisation’s earliest years, with our nation holding the first Presidency of the UN Security Council in 1946 and providing the first UN military peacekeepers, who were deployed to Indonesia in 1947.
Over the years Australia has provided a very practical commitment to the world body, deploying more than sixty five thousand civilian and military personnel to more than fifty United Nations and other multilateral peacekeeping and security missions around the world.
Australian expertise has helped to develop programs for countries less fortunate than our own, in areas such as promoting human rights, strengthening the rule of law, protecting the most vulnerable and building institutions for establishing sustainable peace and development.
Closer to home, the United Nations of Australia Association proudly takes its place alongside similar organisations in a hundred countries – all dedicated to advancing the goals of the United Nations.
The Association’s Queensland Division’s Community Awards, established in 2010, and the only awards of their type in Australia, are a practical demonstration of the ideals of the organization.
As the Association explains, “The awards recognise those individuals and organisations whose selfless and often uncelebrated efforts, work towards issues of peace, human rights, social justice and equality in our communities across Queensland”. These values very much reflect the United Nations Charter in the wider world.
This afternoon five people and two organisations are being recognised. They have been singled out for promoting peace, social justice, community development, reconciliation and social inclusion. At a time when the wider community is focusing on the rights of indigenous peoples and refugees it is very pleasing to see these issues are being addressed by the award recipients, and acknowledged publically this afternoon.
I commend the Queensland Division of the United Nations Association on this very worthwhile awards program and sincerely congratulate the worthy recipients of the awards, which I will now present.