Honours and Awards within the Australian Honours System Investiture Ceremony (D) for Residents of Queensland
Kaye and I extend a very warm welcome to you all to Government House today for this important ceremony of recognition.
We particularly welcome today our official guests, and our recipients and their proud supporters. We hope you are all able to join us afterwards for refreshments and that this adds to your enjoyment of this special day – and, in case you’re wondering: yes, we do serve cucumber sandwiches!
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.
For me, as the representative in this State of our Queen, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, an investiture ceremony is an important act of both giving and receiving.
On behalf of the people of Australia, I invest recipients with their awards with gratitude for the contribution they have made to our nation; and the awardees, in accepting their honours, humbly acknowledge that it is their fellow Australians who have nominated them or have supported their nomination.
Receiving any of the fifty-seven awards under the Australian honours system is never simply a matter of family, friends or colleagues filling out a form and sitting back to wait until their nominee’s name appears in the list published on Australia Day or on the Queen’s Birthday weekend. Each nomination is scrutinised with exceptional care and many are rejected; referees are contacted and a great deal of effort goes into ensuring that the integrity of our unique honours system is preserved.
All of this occurs many months before the public announcements are made and I know it can be difficult for recipients to maintain their silence as the time of their announcement approaches.
But today there is no longer a need for confidentiality or silence; now is the time for you to enjoy the time-honoured symbolism of your investiture.
Much of it dates back centuries to the time when Kings honoured loyalty and valour by creating Knights of the realm.
Here at Government House, we are mindful of that long tradition and are deeply committed to ensuring that these ceremonies are organised and carried out with all the decorum and attention to detail that tradition demands.
You may not have donned armour and mounted your horse to ride out onto a mediaeval battlefield, but each of you, in your own way, has fought a battle that is no less fierce or difficult – battles against ignorance, against indifference, against prejudice as well as confronting legal, financial and societal barriers and, in some cases, very real physical and emotional challenges.
The recipients today are a marvellous cross-section of Australian society. We have women and men who have fought against social injustice, homelessness, and domestic and family violence; there are people who have put themselves on the front line, working for our fire and emergency services and our ambulance service; there are awardees who have dedicated their time and skills to medicine and the law, to education, multiculturalism, veterans and youth, to local government and industrial relations; and we have men and women who have served their community by enriching our lives through their involvement in the church, the performing arts, cricket, bowls, Scouts and service clubs.
Each of them stands as a fine example of what can be achieved through passion and persistent, dedicated effort.
Collectively, they help make us a better, fairer nation, and for that, on behalf of all Queenslanders, I thank and congratulate you all and wish you an enjoyable celebration – your varied careers and interests will give you a splendid range of topics to explore in conversation … as you enjoy our Government House cucumber sandwiches. Thank you.