Honours and Awards within the Australian Honours System Investiture Ceremony (F) for Residents of Queensland
It is my great pleasure to welcome you all to Government House for today’s highly significant Investiture Ceremony.
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.
Ever since it was established in, Australia’s unique honours and awards have been conferred and presented here at Fernberg.
This is highly appropriate, because Government House is the ‘people’s house’, and your receipt of honours and awards confirms that each and every one of you are outstanding members of our community.
Our invited guests – your family, friends and colleagues, and our official guests – are justifiably proud of all you have achieved.
I warmly welcome them, and all those watching this ceremony from elsewhere, via livestream.
My role today, as your Governor, is to give voice to our fellow citizens, to express on their behalf our sincere gratitude for the many and myriad ways you have made Australia a better place in which to live.
It is truly inspiring to reflect on the incredible diversity of the service to Australia freely given by today’s awardees.
The list of citations we have just heard is as expansive and diverse as our nation.
The shining thread uniting this diverse list is the principle of merit.
As I alluded to earlier, the Australian honours system is unique, indeed it is envied by other nations, as it is grounded in the distinctively Australian principles of equality and merit.
All citizens are equal when it comes to nominations.
Any citizen is entitled to nominate any other.
And the success of each and every nomination is determined by an independent assessment of merit.
Each of you should be very proud that you have met this highest of standards, and that your achievements have been acknowledged and celebrated by your fellow citizens.
The medals and awards you receive today as tokens of that recognition are inscribed with the symbols of Australia.
You will see on the Order of Australia awards golden sprigs of our national flower, the wattle in bloom, a flower which the writer DH Lawrence memorably described, "as if angels had flown right down out of the softest gold regions of heaven to settle here, in the Australian bush".
And you also will see the deep blue of the ocean which surrounds our island continent; our nation girt by sea.
What you will not see, but what is embedded in each and every award, is the deep esteem that your community holds for your achievements, though it is my hope that you will reflect back to them your appreciation by wearing your insignia and by using the post-nominals to which you are now entitled.
We at Government House are honoured by your presence today, and we hope you savour every moment of this celebration, as we extend to you our sincere congratulations. Thank you, and enjoy your morning at Government House.