Investiture Ceremony (B) for Residents of Queensland
Kaye and I are delighted to welcome our distinguished recipients, their proud families and friends, and our official guests to Government House on this very special occasion for everyone involved.
For Kaye and me, it is a privilege to participate in what is, in essence, an official celebration of so much that is good and admirable in our community.
Government House staff have been working hard to make sure the grounds, the room, the ceremony and the reception afterwards are of the highest standard, befitting the occasion.
Adding to the significance of today’s investiture, we have with us a number of official guests, to whom we also extend a special welcome.
The families of award recipients, and perhaps friends and colleagues, also play an important role in ensuring that this investiture is a happy and special day.
Your presence provides support for awardees on an occasion that can be moving and even nerve-racking.
I assure you that the pride you radiate is palpable up here at the business end of the room.
When I speak of the ‘business end of the room’, I should acknowledge that I present here today with streamlined administrative support. The philosophy, and it is the right philosophy, is that the Governor should be untroubled by administrative concern, so that he or she is here to congratulate and thank you all with certainly unfeigned, but more importantly, optimal enthusiasm and undoubted sincerity.
But the focus of this ceremony is not about the Governor, it is about the men and women who have today been presented with honours and awards under the Australian Honours System.
These are national awards, expressions of the admiration and gratitude of all Australians for the significant contributions that today’s awardees have made to our country.
Kaye and I are delighted, even intrigued, by the sheer variety of ways in which awardees have made their mark on our communities.
Sport, surgery, dentistry, indigenous land rights, palaeontology, service to our multicultural community, to those living with HIV/AIDS, to local communities, to the aged and to the Police Service have all featured in the citations read out earlier. Decades, often lifetimes, have been dedicated to making a positive difference through high achievement in awardees’ chosen fields, through commitment to causes and organisations that directly serve our communities, or sometimes both.
Acts of bravery have also featured prominently in today’s citations.
We’ve all heard the typical reaction of those presented with these awards: “Anyone would have done the same”, or “I was only doing my duty”.
But we don’t actually know if anyone else would have done the same. That is conjecture. We do know that these brave individuals acted in spite of substantial danger to themselves. That is fact.
And as for “only doing their duty”, we know that bravery awards go to those who acted above and beyond the call of duty.
We are a fortunate community to have Australians like these living in our midst.
We owe every awardee here today a great debt of gratitude.
And today we, as a community, formally express that gratitude, placing their achievements squarely in the spotlight, giving us all a rare glimpse into the way they their commitment to excellence, their service to communities, and their courage, have made our community a better, safer, and more compassionate place for us all.
As Governor, and on behalf of the people of Queensland, I heartily congratulate all today’s awardees on the honours conferred on them, and I thank them for their selfless and outstanding service to our State and our country.