Honours and Awards within the Australian Honours System - Investiture Ceremony (F) for Residents of Queensland
It is my great honour, with Kaye, to welcome to Fernberg this afternoon our recipients and their proud supporters, and our official 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 Governor, I am the representative in Queensland of our Head of State, Her Majesty The Queen.
As such I perform a range of constitutional, community and ceremonial duties.
Presenting Australian honours, awards and bravery decorations to deserving Queenslanders is one of my most important duties in that latter ‘ceremonial’ sphere.
It is sometimes said that Australians are reluctant to stand on ceremony.
However, having just last week addressed the Dawn Service of Remembrance in ANZAC Square, and having this week hosted six Investiture Ceremonies, I believe there is consensus within our community that there are times when formality and ceremony serve important purposes.
This explains the playing here today of the Vice-Regal Anthem by the Australian Army Band, the presence of our Honorary Aides-de-Camp, and the respect for protocol and hierarchy with which these honours and awards have been presented.
It is also why the staff here at Government House go to extraordinary lengths to ensure that these Ceremonies are executed with utmost care – from the meticulous preening of the gardens to the preparation of fine Queensland produce, to the checking – and then re-checking – of every medal, warrant and citation.
For being invested with honours and awards is the highest form of recognition your country can bestow. To go about it without appropriate ceremony would be to deny our recipients their due regard.
I also believe that Queenslanders absorb meaning from this formality.
Having just heard today’s citations, it is abundantly clear that there is also much to be absorbed from reflecting on the astounding diversity of fields in which our recipients have contributed: music education; medicine, health care and hospital administration; natural history and conservation; humanitarian work; veterans affairs; human rights; the community sector; public administration; education; philanthropy; the Catholic Church; consumer rights; the arts; and – certainly not least – sport.
And we have heard, too, of contributions to Queensland’s vitally important rural and regional communities: Bundaberg, Redland, St George, Miles and Chinchilla and the Western Downs.
One recipient has come all the way from Noonbah Station, south of Longreach!
What a complexly amazing group of Queenslanders assembled before us!
The diversity of the fields in which our recipients have contributed is also emblematic of the depth of the amazing capability of the Queensland people.
And their citations reveal the immense benefits of service: to oneself, but also to community, and to State and nation.
To our recipients, Australia would be poorer without your contributions.
You all epitomize the enduring qualities – of service, dedication and conspicuous care for one another – to which I seek as Governor to accord due recognition and acknowledgement.
I urge you, as you go forward, to wear your signal honours with pride.
They are important symbols of personal achievement, and they provide the community with tangible links to those enduring values which advance us all.
Kaye and I once again wholeheartedly congratulate you.
We hope you will enjoy the hospitality on offer, and we very much look forward to the opportunity to meet many of you throughout the course of this afternoon.