Honours and Awards within the Australian Honours System - Investiture Ceremony (F) for Residents of Queensland
The Honourable Steven Miles MP, representing the Premier; Senators Moore and Lazarus; official guests; our recipients and their proud families. Kaye and I have the great pleasure to welcome you all to Government House today.
Government House is Queensland’s House, and on behalf of the people of Queensland it has been my honour this afternoon to present the Australian Bravery Decorations under the Australian honours system.
I extend a particular welcome to the proud families, friends and colleagues of those receiving their decorations today, and to those watching from wherever they may be via “livestreaming”.
Because each of you plays an important role in the lives of our award recipients, you also play an important role in today’s ceremony. Kaye and I are delighted to offer you the hospitality of the Government House estate.
The Bravery Decorations have been part of the Australian Honours System since its very inception.
People seek out stories of bravery. They read them and they remember them.
In our hearts, we see the wisdom of the Talmudic saying that to save a life is to save the world.
Acts of bravery speak to the best elements of the human spirit; they remind us of our common humanity and they give us hope in an often dangerous world.
Each of our award recipients placed his or her own life in peril to save the life of another.
Today we acknowledge with respect and gratitude the magnitude of their actions.
The awed silence in which we listened to the citations was in sharp contrast to the noise and chaos of the situations in which the awardees found themselves – from the struggle to take a rifle from a man bent on mayhem, to the roaring flames of a burning home, or the pounding of a dangerous surf.
I know, and you know, that courage commands a very high price.
Many of you will carry scars, seen and unseen, from the acts of bravery we acknowledge today.
Jordan Rice and Donna Rice ultimately paid for their courage with their lives.
I know today is a sad day for the Rice family.
In our sympathy and solidarity with the family and friends of Donna and Jordan Rice, we also acknowledge the selfless nobility of their last actions.
Courage does not always stand alone.
In the Group Bravery Citations are individuals who despite their injuries, despite the confusion of a chaotic and dangerous situation, acted together to protect the community.
There are those who worked in concert to rescue strangers from floodwaters.
As individuals and as a group, you have my admiration and the admiration of the Australian community.
Compared to the dramatic events which led you to today’s investiture ceremony, even these most prestigious honours seemed inadequate.
But they are fitting symbols of the enduring esteem you have earned from your community.
As Governor of Queensland, I have the honour of speaking on behalf of all Queenslanders, and I say “thank you” and congratulations. You have earned our gratitude and our admiration.
Finally, we hope many of you will soon meet Gavel, who is with us at Fernberg for 12 months as he readies to join the Queensland Police Service training program. We trust he will become in his own way as great an asset to our State and our community as all we have honoured today.