Investiture Ceremony (F) for Residents of Queensland
Kaye and I welcome most warmly to this grand heritage residence our distinguished recipients, their proud families and friends, and our official guests.
Fernberg is this year 150 years old. It has over that time played host to many occasions of State, and national, significance. In this very room, for example, numerous Premiers and Ministers have been sworn-in – including in February when I swore in our current Premier.
However, some of the most important ceremonies which take place here are these Investitures. This is the 19th such ceremony Kaye and I have hosted at Fernberg since I was sworn-in as Governor last year. And there are six such ceremonies this week, recognising the outstanding contributions and brave acts of over 110 Queenslanders.
There is an additional anniversary of significance to today’s ceremony.
The Order of Australia – the pinnacle of the Australian honours and awards system, and into which all of today’s recipients are being invested, was established by Queen Elizabeth the Second on Valentine’s Day 1975 – 40 years ago this year.
(As Her Majesty’s representative in Queensland, I pause to once again, on behalf of all Queenslanders, acknowledge her exemplary dedicated service, as of last week our longest reigning monarch.)
While you are being invested into our own uniquely Australian honours system – and one of which we should rightly be proud – I relay now a quote from The Queen (who has, as I discovered on Twitter last week, invested over 400,000 people with honours over 63 years as monarch) from a recent ceremony at which Her Majesty presided:
(That quote too was Tweeted, from the British Monarchy official account!)
This is certainly true of Kaye’s and my experience – you can indeed tell us all something different (and eminently fascinating) about this multifaceted State of ours.
And how fortunate we are that this occurs across an astoundingly wide spectrum. Today’s recipients are being recognised for contributions to: education; disability support; public health and medicine; business and commerce; the law; multiculturalism; trauma care; local government; agriculture; horse racing; youth services; and service to local communities from Rosewood to Redcliffe and all around our State!
Of course, in that trademark Australian way, most recipients don’t seek reward or recognition – and the great majority of award recipients – at any investiture ceremony – are not household names and have no wish to be.
However, remember that you were nominated by the community.
Your peers have recognised that you have lived your life in a remarkable and distinguished way.
I therefore urge to you all to display your honours often, and with enthusiasm.
They are quite simply our nation’s highest form of recognition.
Kaye and I look forward very much to learning more about your interesting and fascinating endeavours, supported ably as you invariably are by family and friends. And enjoy the warm and welcoming Government House hospitality, it is a token of the community’s recognition, and of our own gratitude.
This afternoon’s ceremony is the culmination of this series of investitures. In concluding, I express my gratitude to the staff of Government House who have done their utmost to ensure your experience is appropriately memorable. They are all effectively represented here by the Official Secretary, Air Commodore Gower, but I have asked that a number of other officers be present to hear this expression of thanks, and they are the Program Manager, Ms Julia Webb, the Hospitality Services Manager, Mr Darren Yeap, and the Facilities and Operations Manager, Mr Scott Allen. You will have noted, as to their respective domains, the streamlined way in which you were invited and welcomed, the superb – indeed unparalleled presentation of the grounds and the splendour of the house, and the hospitality you will shortly receive. I know that in your following applause, you will be acknowledging the splendid efforts of all our dedicated staff.