2017 Pierre de Coubertin Awards Presentation Presented by the Queensland Olympic Council
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, our proud 2017 Pierre de Coubertin Awardees.
I also acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands around Brisbane, the Turrbal and Jagera peoples, and express respect to Elders.
As Governor and Patron of the Queensland Olympic Council, it gives me enormous pleasure to join you for today’s award ceremony significant in the lives of our recipients, and our State.
Queenslanders take great pride in their sporting successes and achievements – and there have recently been many of which we can be proud.
Take Olympian Jeff Horn’s inspirational underdog World Title victory at Suncorp last Sunday.
Or Queensland’s compelling performance in this year’s second Origin match – success we hope will be emulated this Wednesday.
And we gloatingly recall that Queensland athletes accounted for nearly 50 per cent of Australia’s medal haul at last year’s Rio Olympics.
But while in the latter context winning medals is certainly important, it is not the sole indicator of success.
We sell our community – and ourselves – cruelly short if we do not also recognise and celebrate the values of hard work and perseverance; individual responsibility; determination and pride; and most of all, respect – respect for one’s self, for others, and, may I add significantly during NAIDOC Week, respect for our Indigenous heritage and cultures which go to defining who we are as a nation.
These are not just the values of the Olympic mission.
As the namesake of these Awards, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, sought to recognise, they are also values which can be applied to all aspects of your life, and values which bind and advancement us as a community, as a humanity!
They are also the values, coincidentally, which have benefited Gavel, the German Shepherd pup who was too friendly to become a Police Dog. Failure did not defeat Gavel, as when given a second chance, he has excelled as a vice-regal ceremonial dog with me at Government House! You may have heard of him, he has a very substantial international on-line following!
I congratulate the 124 recipients of the 2017 Pierre de Coubertin Awards in Queensland.
I thank your proud school communities who nominated you.
I further commend the Australian Olympic Committee, the Queensland Olympic Council and Education Queensland for their effective stewardship of this important outreach program over more than two decades.
With gratitude to initiatives like these awards, our State has a bright future, on our sporting fields, and crucially, beyond.
I once again thank and congratulate you all, as you go about giving tangible meaning to the spirit of the Olympic movement for the benefit of today’s awardees, and our community. Thank you.