Honours and Awards within the Australian Honours System - Investiture Ceremony (C) for Residents of Queensland
Kaye and I extend the warmest of welcomes to this afternoon’s honours and awards recipients, to their proud families, friends and colleagues, and to our special guests.
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.
As the citations we have just heard make clear, and as the abundance of uniforms here makes even clearer, today’s Investiture Ceremony has a distinct military air.
But I also make a special point of noting the prestigious civilian awards conferred today.
This eclectic mix of awardees, military and non-military, illustrates the remarkable variety of ways in which Australians contribute to their communities, and to their country.
It is for that reason that we have awardees from the Australian Army sitting with one individual who has played a significant role in promoting organ and tissue donation and transplants.
Who, in turn, is sitting near another awardee who has played a major role in research and development in bioengineering and nanotechnology.
Australian Air Force personnel are sitting near an individual who has made significant contributions in both aerial medical and rescue services, and horse racing. He is in company with an awardee who has, in racing terms, won the quadrella, having been active in IT, education, business, and support of people with disabilities.
And it is fitting, in this company, that the remaining civilian awardee has spent decades promoting pride in and respect for the Australian flag.
The awards conferred on serving and former ADF personnel here today have even more than usual significance. That is because, this year, Australians continue to commemorate centenaries of World War One battles.
They include Bullecourt, Messines, Polygon Wood and Paaschendale on the Western Front, and the famous charge of the Australian Light Horse at Beersheba.
We recall also that, by the end of 1917, the Australian Flying Corps, predecessor of the RAAF, was active in the Middle East and had three squadrons on the Western Front.
The men and women of today’s ADF are the keepers of the legacy, ethos and traditions of Australians who fought in the First World War and since.
We see that clearly in the wonderful achievements of those honoured today. We see it also in the marvellous way in which the ADF has come to the assistance of Queenslanders whose lives have been affected by Cyclone Debbie.
The variety of roles our military awardees have played illustrates the complexity of a modern military force.
They include logistics, medical and safety services, combat support and operations, air-to-air refuelling, engineering, military police effectiveness, training in several fields, psychological operations, tactical cyberspace capability, unmanned aerial systems, intelligence analysis, and guided munitions.
However, that extraordinary variety masks what all of today’s awardees have in common, which is a commitment to service – service to communities, to causes, to organisations and to the safety and security of our country.
All have met the high standards demanded of those who are privileged to receive these honours and awards – remembering that military awards are presented only to those who service is well above the ordinary.
We, as a community, are extremely fortunate to have Australians of this calibre among us. In achieving their best and in serving others, they embody and encourage the best in us.
As Governor, speaking now on behalf of all Australians, I thank you, today’s awardees, for your service and dedication to this State and this country.
I congratulate you all most heartily on the great honour conferred on you by a grateful nation.
I urge you to display the symbols of that honour proudly and often, so that you may inspire others. Enjoy this very special day. It belongs to you. Thank you.