Reception for Delegates to the Order of Australia Association’s 21st Annual Conference
25th Governor of Queensland, the Honourable Penelope Wensley AC and Mr Stuart McCosker; The Order of Australia Association National President, Mr Phillip Flood AO; National Chairman, Mr William Galvin OAM; Queensland Chairman, Professor John Harden AM; all other distinguished guests. It is a great pleasure to welcome you all to Government House today. I extend an especially warm welcome to delegates who are visitors to our capital city and our State.
The Association’s timing is impeccable.
Today is the 91st birthday of Queensland’s Head of State, and the Sovereign Head of the Order of Australia, Her Majesty The Queen.
On Wednesday just this week I was in Cairns, with Kaye, to present 14 Far North Queensland residents with Australian honours, awards and bravery decorations… and a fortnight before that we hosted a similar ceremony in Charleville.
In less than two weeks’ time, we will be conducting a further six Investiture Ceremonies here at Government House, honouring the immense contributions to State and nation of no fewer than 143 remarkable Queenslanders.
We are always delighted that senior representatives of the Association attend these ceremonies, lending additional prestige to each event.
Today has been one of busiest days in your conference schedule.
I am sure that the eminent Queenslanders and honorary Queenslanders who addressed the conference have given you impressive insights, from multiple points of view, into your topical theme, Innovatingfor Society.
And then of course, there was this year’s national oration, delivered just hours ago by my distinguished vice-regal predecessor, the Honourable Penelope Wensley AC.
I was also pleased also to see that your program includes the exploration of some of Brisbane’s historic places. Many of these have links with Queensland’s Governors – Old Government House and this beautiful house and estate, for example.
But also Brisbane’s magnificent City Hall, opened by Governor Sir John Goodwin in 1930, and ANZAC Square, where Queensland Governors have the great privilege of speaking at the annual Dawn Service.
The breadth of your conference program is emblematic of the Association’s deep commitment to its mission of promoting pride in Australian citizenship as a constructive national unifying force. And, of course, the Association’s promotion of the Australian honours system as a means of realising that goal.
In that respect, as Patron in Queensland, I have been fortunate to participate in Association programs supporting that admirable objective – such as the Secondary School Citizenship Awards.
As Governor, and Patron, I extend my sincere thanks and congratulations the executive and the thousands of members of the Association for their dedication to Australia and to the Australian honours system, which celebrates its 42nd birthday this year.
Kaye and I wish you a productive and enjoyable conference and we wish the Association every success in the future.
We invite you to relax from your conference labours, and to enjoy our Government House hospitality in convivial company.