Honours and Awards within the Australian Honours System Investiture Ceremony (B) for Residents of Queensland
Kaye and I welcome you all warmly to Government House today, including our official guests, and our recipients and their proud supporters.
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.
The family, friends and colleagues of today’s awardees are here, of course, to support and applaud ‘their’ special person as he or she received an award. But you, our welcome guests today, are far more than witnesses to this important ceremony.
We at Government House, aided by the presence of our special guests, do our very best to make the ceremony impressive, dignified and memorable.
But your almost palpable happiness and pride make the recipients’ day even more special.
I know you would have walked over broken glass to be here in any case, but Kaye and I thank you most sincerely for letting us share in your pride and enthusiasm today.
You are familiar with the hard work, dedication, professionalism and courage for which ‘your’ awardee has been honoured.
But it is unlikely that today’s awardees are well-known outside their immediate area of endeavour.
They did not go about their work accompanied by television cameras, applauding crowds or brass bands – though we have one for you today, thanks to the wonderful Royal Australian Navy Band, Queensland.
For that reason, this Investiture Ceremony is a revelation, giving us all a rare opportunity to look into the heart of our communities, professions and institutions.
We have had the good fortune of learning about our awardees’ service and achievement because their work did not go unnoticed.
Someone, somewhere, formed the view that they deserved a nomination under the Australian honours system. And, after rigorous, independent examination of that record by the appropriate national awards bodies, today’s recipients were judged worthy of recognition.
Today we have learned how immunology, the law, the pharmacy profession, community health and the Queensland Parliament have benefited enormously from the contributions of award recipients.
And we have learned of the marvellous contributions of today’s impressive number of military awardees, in a variety of specialist fields.
They include high level strategic planning, close combat skills, remotely piloted and unmanned aircraft, operations intelligence, aircraft maintenance, military police, disaster relief in Fiji, the welfare of soldiers, training next-generation military leaders, airmanship in a combat zone, target acquisition capability and support, the protection of military personnel, and Indigenous liaison.
I note that a number of these awards relate to active service during overseas deployments.
That list is both confirmation of the complexities of a modern military force, and confirmation that the Australian Defence Force’s tradition of proud service to our country is as strong as ever.
When today’s awardees return to their usual lives, they are no more unlikely to have a brass band accompanying them than they did before. But they will have a mark of distinction capable of drawing attention to them.
For that reason, I urge them to wear their medals and ribbons and use their post-nominals at every appropriate opportunity, so that others may be inspired to follow in their footsteps.
Kaye and I look forward to meeting you all shortly when the Government House team dispenses some well-deserved hospitality.
Prior to that, and on behalf of all Australians, Kaye and I offer our wholehearted thanks to today’s awardees for their marvellous contributions to our country and communities.
And we extend our warmest congratulations on the wonderful national honour bestowed on them today. Thank you.