Honours and Awards within the Australian Honours System - Investiture Ceremony (A) for Residents of Queensland
Kaye and I extend the warmest of welcomes to you all today. We – and our special guests – are delighted to be in your company, and to share this very special day with you, as we are to our special guests watching this morning via ‘livestreaming’.
This room has witnessed a substantial number of Investiture Ceremonies over the decades. Kaye and I have presided at quite a few ourselves, since I was sworn in as Governor in 2014.
But, as always, we looked forward today to the arrival of the award recipients and their families – some nervous, some made uncomfortable by the attention, some relaxed, but all bursting with pride.
And that is because the achievements of the awardees are always the object of admiration and the source of inspiration.
The formal citations read out earlier featured repeated references to ‘achievement’, and to related words like ‘service’ and ‘distinguished performance’, in describing why today’s awardees have been presented with Australian honours and awards.
We at Government House do our best to capture the essence of those achievements in the citations. Even so, practical reasons dictate that the citations can never be more than a summary description.
To understand fully what is involved in these wonderful achievements, we need to bring to mind, for each of today’s awardees, the level of dedication necessary to make such impressive contributions to their organisations, professions and communities.
We need to imagine the sheer hard work involved, the capacity to overcome obstacles, the skill in building professional and personal relationships, the drive to serve others and to embody the highest standards, and even the challenge of balancing work and home life.
In that last respect, many citations make me wonder when the person in question eats or sleeps! I believe I see some nods of agreement in the room.
The citations also reveal why Kaye and I are always delighted and surprised by the sheer variety of ways in which awardees support the well-being of our communities.
Prominent among today’s awardees are representatives of all branches of our armed forces. Their presence is even more significant than usual today, as we continue to commemorate the service and enormous sacrifice of Australians in World War One a century ago.
We may not fully understand the technical roles featured in the military citations. However, we know that the outstanding contributions made by today’s Army, Navy and Air Force awardees have markedly increased the effectiveness and preparedness of the Australian Defence Force, including in theatres of conflict in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.
Among today’s civilian awardees, one made the ornate spokes for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Coach, among many impressive engineering feats.
Three provided praiseworthy support to our much-valued and respected veterans and their families.
Several have been involved in what seems like every community organisation in places like Maryborough, Oakey, and Toowoomba. I make particular mention of the late Mrs Jessie Gibbes of Roma, whose award was presented to her family.
Others still have been prominent in important local industries, in local government, in Crown of Thorns Starfish control, and in supporting our State’s young people.
That’s a marvellous list!
As Governor of this wonderful State, I thank every one of the men and women presented with awards today for the part you have played in making a better, more secure, more compassionate Australia.
I congratulate you on the great honour conferred on you today by the whole of the Australian community.
I urge you to wear your awards and use your post-nominals, so that others will ask about them, and you can inspire them by sharing your stories.
Enjoy this, your very special day.