Honours and Awards within the Australian Honours System - Investiture Ceremony (Townsville) for Residents of Queensland
It is my privilege to welcome you all to this Investiture Ceremony for recipients of Australian honours, awards and bravery decorations.
I extend a very warm welcome to our official guests – and Kaye and I are highly appreciative of the representation here today of elected MPs and Councillors, from Townsville and Aurukun. We also welcome today the family, friends and colleagues of our awardees and particularly to our most honoured guests, our recipients.
I at once acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands around Townsville, the the Wulgurukaba and Bindal people, expressing respect for Elders, past and present.
These Investiture Ceremonies sit at the apex of the Governor’s ceremonial role. And because exceptional achievements and outstanding service aren’t confined to the south-east corner of our State, I see great benefit is holding these ceremonies, where appropriate, in our regional centres. And yesterday’s ‘never say die’ win by the North Queensland Cowboys, confirms that exceptional achievements are not confined to the South East!
The diversity and richness of Townsville, North Queensland and Far North Queensland life is exemplified through the achievement and service recognised in these awards.
Today we honour bravery, a virtue honoured in every culture, and the exercise of which reflects the very best of humanity.
We honour Mr Steven Morris for the bravery he showed on the morning of August 24, 2015, entering a burning building; and we honour Mr Bradley Henry for the bravery he showed entering floodwaters, to go to the aid of others.
With humility and gratitude, I thank them both, on behalf of the people of Queensland, on whose behalf I am privileged to speak.
Today we also formally recognise selfless and exceptional service which has enriched the communities of the North and Far North and which is recognised by our nation.
The individuals we gather to honour today represent service across an incredible geographic span, and across the wide spectrum of vocational and community ends upon which they have focused their talents, including: service to local government, and local government administration; exemplary service to fire and rescue services and to the Queensland Ambulance Service; service to medicine, in many areas;
service to community welfare organisations, including in the fight against polio; alongside service enriching and fostering goodwill in specific communities including Cairns, Babinda, and the Atherton Tablelands.
As each of you examines the beautiful medals which are the symbols of your country’s appreciation and gratitude, I hope you will notice the rich symbolism with which they are imbued.
The Medals of the Order of Australia I have just conferred, for example, have a rich texture of beads and radiating lines, etched in gold, reflecting the golden sunshine which drenches the north of our State.
But for me, they also symbolize the individuals and communities whose lives you have touched, and the way your service radiates outward, like ripples in a pond, to make our country a better place in which to live, today and into the future. Such symbolism can be found in all awards conferred today.
I hope you will wear and show them with pride. I also hope you will use the postnominals to which you are now entitled. They are gifts of your fellow Australians in recognition of your immense contributions – may they inspire the community to learn more about what you have done, and inspire others to follow in your footsteps!
Recipients of Australian honours, awards and bravery decorations are, in many respects, a roll call of role models.
Our society needs more role models, and many more people like you who have lived lives faithful to the best Australian values, who have sought to enrich and improve your communities and who have striven to make best use of your talents in the service of others.
On behalf of the people of Queensland, I thank you for your immense contributions which have so vastly enriched and improved our State and our nation. Thank you.