Honours and Awards within the Australian Honours System - Investiture Ceremony (D) for Residents of Queensland
It is Kaye’s and my great pleasure to welcome our official guests, and our recipients and their proud families and friends, to Government House for this morning’s Investiture Ceremony. We also welcome those further afield watching via livestreaming.
Today, it is my honour to present awards to a fine cross-section of my fellow Queenslanders. Collectively, they represent three of the attributes that we admire and value most highly as a nation – courage, commitment, and community service.
The first of those qualities, courage, is seen in the dedication and determination of many of today’s recipients, but is seen most clearly in those receiving bravery decorations. They have confronted flood waters, fire, and armed offenders; they have gone to the rescue of people trapped in an overturned vehicle; they have saved people at risk of drowning – all of them making the deliberate and selfless choice to leave a place of safety and put their own lives in jeopardy to help others.
Today’s list of awardees also demonstrates clearly that bravery is not a factor of age.
I am humbled and honoured to be presenting a Commendation for Brave Conduct today to Jade-Elle Brown, one of the award’s youngest ever recipients, just 8 years old at the time. She is a young Queenslander of whom we can all be exceptionally proud.
The women and men receiving honours within the Order of Australia have shown courage of a different kind, the courage of perseverance.
They have given their time, intelligence and passion, some of them for more than fifty years, in advocating for and supporting fields and causes as varied as the environment, education, Indigenous culture, LGBTIQ rights, sport and sport science, lifesaving, and community service.
For all recipients, the presentation of honours today is the culmination of a very long process and I know that you have all experienced a roller-coaster ride of emotions since you were advised of your award.
For the women and men being invested as Members of the Order of Australia and those receiving Medals of the Order, this is almost invariably a very happy and positive experience – from the surprise of being notified of your award, to the pleasure of receiving congratulations from family and friends, right through to the excitement of preparing for your visit here today.
However, I know that, for those being recognised with decorations for bravery, that roller-coaster ride may not always have been a happy, fair-ground experience.
Many recipients over the years have not felt able to attend an Investiture Ceremony because it has been too confronting to be reminded of the situation that led to their courageous action. Ironically, it also takes courage for the brave to come forward and receive their medal or commendation.
Investiture Ceremonies are formal and sometimes sombre events, but they are, first and foremost, a celebration of the best and finest of human qualities.
On behalf of all Queenslanders, I thank all recipients for their contribution to our communities and our nation and congratulate them on their awards.
I look forward to speaking to each of you personally and to meeting your guests during the reception after the ceremony.