Honours and Awards within the Australian Honours System - Investiture Ceremony (E) for Residents of Queensland
Official guests, our wonderful recipients and their proud families and friends, Kaye and I are delighted that you accepted our invitation to join us on this special day.
For us, Investiture Ceremonies are one of the highlights of the vice-regal calendar. We gain great pleasure from welcoming here to Fernberg, the people’s house, our most recent recipients of Australian honours, awards and bravery decorations. We are equally delighted that so many of your supporters will also watch today’s Ceremony via livestreaming.
Today is a joyful occasion and a time for great pride – and rightly so; but it is also a serious occasion for our community to publicly acknowledge how each of you have embodied the best values and ideals of our country.
At the heart of the individual achievements for which you are honoured today lies a choice.
In some cases the choice has been made day after day, month after month, year after year – to deliver outstanding service to your profession or to your community.
For others, the choice was made in an instant, to come to the aid of someone in peril, or to confront a violent offender.
Life hands each of us many choices.
Unlike most of your peers, the choices you have made have encouraged, enlivened and enriched our State and our country.
On behalf of our fellow citizens, I thank you most sincerely.
Listening to these citations is a truly uplifting experience.
Behind the plain and direct language of the Bravery Citations lie the most extreme emotions imaginable.
Mere words seem inadequate to the courage displayed.
In that moment of danger, you set aside your own self-protection to come to the aid of another, or to protect the innocent from the actions of those who would do harm.
You exemplified the best in humanity, your actions strengthen our faith in the goodness of our community, and your awards represent the gratitude of that community for your selflessness.
The citations for the Order of Australia and meritorious award recipients are incredibly diverse, spanning business, the public service and the community sector – indeed, almost every aspect of our modern and sophisticated State.
Gathered here today are individuals who have given outstanding service to the Queensland Government; who have served our Indigenous communities, and local government and child protection agencies; there are those who have served the Queensland maritime sector; the real estate and property development industry; youth and sporting groups; the police service; supported the preservation of our history; and generously given their time as a hospital volunteer.
Our awardees are also diverse in terms of geography, hailing from places as far afield as Bundaberg and Dalby, from the Gold Coast to Brisbane and Central West Queensland.
Today you are united in membership of Australia’s foremost civilian order of merit.
Beyond the distance between the places you call home, and transcending the diverse professions in which you work, are the values of ingenuity, selflessness, commitment and community service, which Australians hold most dear.
The symbols of what you have accomplished are your medals and your post-nominals.
I hope you will wear them and use them with pride, as I do, for they are the sincere tokens of your community’s gratitude.
One of the great pleasures of officiating at this ceremony is to see the pride and happiness of the families and friends of each awardee.
It is a great pleasure to offer to them and to each of our honoured guests – the award recipients - the hospitality of this splendid estate.
I look forward to spending time with you all as you enjoy this most special day.
In conclusion, and “off-script”, I express my personal appreciation of the enormous efforts of the Government House staff to ensure all our five ceremonies this week – this is the fifth – have been optimally memorable for you all. These are very much signature events at Government House, honouring such wonderful Queenslanders, such wonderful people. The preparation here is lengthy, painstaking and outstanding, and I thank the Official Secretary and his officers for yet another superbly presented series of Investiture Ceremonies.