Honours and Awards within the Australian Honours System - Investiture Ceremony (B) for Residents of Queensland
It is my great pleasure to extend a very warm welcome to Government House to each of today’s awardees, and to their proud friends, families and colleagues.
I at once acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands around Brisbane, the Turrbul and Jagera peoples, and extend respect to Elders past and present.
An investiture is an important formal ceremony with a long and distinguished history which began in the Age of Chivalry when grateful monarchs conferred knighthoods and other honours and rewards on those who served them with particular distinction.
In Australia today, we may be many centuries and half a world away from those original investitures, but we recognise exceptional service in the same way, through our own very distinctively Australian honours system.
The act of presenting and receiving the Order of Australia awards, Australian Bravery Decorations, and medals honouring those who serve in our police, fire, ambulance and emergency services, is every bit as solemn and symbolic as those original investitures.
As the representative of Her Majesty The Queen of Australia here in our State, I have the privilege of conferring these honours on her behalf. I know that all of the staff of Government House are committed to ensuring that the ceremony is organised and carried out with the greatest decorum, professionalism and careful attention to detail.
Our administrative staff have checked and re-checked every certificate, medal and lapel pin; our horticultural staff have ensured that the grounds are immaculate; and our house staff and chefs are preparing right now for the celebratory reception that will follow this ceremony – right down to the last perfect cucumber sandwich.
In addition to offering you an opportunity to celebrate and for me to congratulate you on your well-deserved recognition, today’s reception will also give you an opportunity to meet people beyond your immediate circle of friends and family; to get to know other recipients whom you might not otherwise have met.
Each of you has made an outstanding contribution to the community and to Australian society, and while you may not previously have been aware of each other’s interests and achievements, you now have something in common – the honours you are receiving today.
I have met many recipients of Australian honours and awards since I was appointed as Governor, almost three years ago. One of the qualities that characterises these men and women, irrespective of the honour they have received, is that investiture is not an end point.
They continue to give their time, talent and energy to the causes in which they believe, to the careers in which they excel, to the communities in which they live – and they continue to inspire us.
They are fine individuals who have made a lifelong commitment to making a difference.
I particularly acknowledge now our bravery recipients.
The ramifications – both positive and otherwise – of their momentary decision to put the lives of another before their own, shall stay with them for many years to come.
But Australian society is very much the richer because of their conspicuous selflessness.
I congratulate all recipients once again on the honours, awards and bravery decorations they have received today but, more importantly, I thank them on behalf of all Queenslanders for the outstanding contribution they have made, and continue to make, to our communities and to our nation.
I wish you all a most enjoyable celebration and look forward to sharing many interesting conversations with each of you and with your friends, families and colleagues during the reception.