Investiture Ceremony (C) for Residents of Queensland
It is a privilege to welcome today’s award recipients as well as their families, close friends and colleagues, and our official guests to this afternoon’s investiture ceremony.
Here at Government House, we take particular care to ensure that these ceremonies are both memorable and enjoyable for everyone concerned. The staff of my Office check that every ‘i’ is dotted and ‘t’ crossed; our house staff and horticulturalists ensure that the rooms and grounds are immaculate; and our chefs are busy right now preparing refreshments from the best Queensland produce for the reception to follow this ceremony.
We take this care because investing Queensland residents with awards under the Australian honours system is among the most important responsibilities I have as your Governor and the representative of our Queen in this wonderful State.
In common with all the ceremonies in our culture that mark significant milestones, an investiture is a public declaration. It says to the community at large that the awardees have made a significant contribution to building a strong, cohesive, tolerant society which respects the equal worth, dignity and freedoms of every individual.
All of today’s awardees have given back to their communities in myriad fields – health and medicine, the media, primary industries, education, community safety, local government, youth, the arts, aged care, surf lifesaving, and the Guiding movement.
Australia would be the poorer without their contribution.
As diverse as their fields may be, the recipients of these honours are united by the tangible awards they receive – the medals and certificates presented today.
Each of the medals, ribbons and lapel pins has been carefully and thoughtfully designed and bears important symbols.
The Order of Australia medals and their royal blue ribbons both feature our national flower, the wattle, as well as the crown of Saint Edward, recognising that these honours are presented under the aegis of Queen Elizabeth the Second as Queen of Australia and Head of the Order.
The Public Service Medals also feature the wattle but instead of the blue of Australian skies, their ribbons are in our national colours of green and gold, and the medal itself features no fewer than thirty-six human figures, representing the wide range of activities of those who deliver excellence in serving the Australian public.
The Australian Fire Service Medals are no less striking, featuring stylised flames on both the back and front of the medal and a central band of crimson flame on the green and gold ground of the ribbon.
They are splendid symbols of your achievement.
On behalf of all Queenslanders, I congratulate you on your awards and thank you for the service you have given and will no doubt continue to give to Australian society.
Finally, I would urge you not to tuck your medals and certificates away in a drawer when you get home; these are honours to be worn with pride as a symbol of the nation’s gratitude to you and of your thanks to those who nominated you and supported your nomination.