Duke of Edinburgh International Award Gold Award Presentation Ceremony
Ms Di Farmer MP, representing the Education Minister; Councillor Steven Toomey, representing the Lord Mayor; distinguished guests; Gold Award recipients and their proud families and supporters. It is a great pleasure to be part of the 2016 Queensland Duke of Edinburgh International Gold Award presentation ceremony.
The Award was established in the UK in 1956, so like me, it turns 60 this year, making it pretty venerable. Nevertheless, we both remain mere whippersnappers compared with the Award’s founder, His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, who turned 95 last month.
The International Award was established in Queensland in 1962, so the first Award participants in this State would have been spending pounds, not dollars, and watching television in two colours – black and white.
Much has changed since then, but those participants of 1962 would still recognise the core element of the Award program of 2016 which, now as then, is all about young people challenging themselves.
The program gives young Queenslanders an opportunity to test their limits, build inner strength and resilience, serve the community, learn new skills and make new friends – all in a structured and supported way.
That’s a powerful “recipe” that clearly appeals to our young people. That’s why the total number of young Australians who have completed the award is fast approaching three-quarters of a million.
If the essential element of the Award itself is challenge, then the fundamental elements of the success of the Award are dedication and generosity.
I thank members of the Queensland State Award Committee, Award Leaders, Assistants, Helpers, Supervisors and Assessors whose selfless contributions are the backbone of the Award in our State. I am delighted that four long-standing volunteers will be recognised at today’s ceremony.
But the day is first and foremost about you, the young Queenslanders receiving the Gold Award today.
You have proved to yourselves, and to others, that you have what it takes to face substantial challenges, and overcome them. You have acquired skills and experience that will always serve you well.
Yours is a marvellous achievement of which you, and your supportive families, are clearly and justifiably proud. And you have served your communities with distinction.
The Governor and Mrs de Jersey are currently in Europe recognising a different kind of service: service to nation and State during conflict. They are representing Queensland at World War One commemorations in Fromelles and Pozieres.
So it’s I who as Acting Governor, have the pleasure of extending to you the warmest of congratulations on behalf of all Queenslanders. And
I look forward to presenting your awards shortly.
Meanwhile, may I wish you every success in your future endeavours. Earning a Gold Award is a great head start on the road to that success.