Honours and Awards within the Australian Honours System Investiture Ceremony (D) for Residents of Queensland
Representing the Premier, Ms Charis Mullen MP; Representing the Leader of the Opposition, Dr Christian Rowan MP; Distinguished Guests, ladies and gentlemen,
I begin at once by acknowledging the traditional owners of Brisbane, the Jagera and Turrbal peoples, and express my respect to their Elders.
It is my great pleasure, along with Kaye, to extend a very warm welcome to Government House to each of today’s award recipients, and to the family members, friends and colleagues who have accompanied them here to share in the celebration of this very special occasion.
The Order of Australia was established in 1975 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II as a uniquely Australian means of recognizing outstanding members of our community. After a rigorous assessment process, and the excitement of the announcement, recipients are invited to an investiture ceremony at Government House, to be presented with their award.
This room has been designed for this exact purpose.
It is known as the Investiture Room, reflecting the importance we place on this ceremony, on the conferral of these awards, and most importantly, on thanking the recipients of awards in the Australian honours system.
Today’s award recipients have made their contribution in a vast range of fields, from education, architecture and industrial design, the arts, history, biosecurity, health administration and medicine, dentistry, legal service, agriculture, sport and of course, in public and community service.
When we look at the stories behind these honours and awards, we see that although they represent a diversity of occupations and activities, and a diversity of communities and places, there is one shining thread uniting them all: a desire to do their best and to make Australia a better place in which to live.
Each of you have turned your talents to the greater good, and your peers have noticed and appreciated everything you have achieved – and today’s ceremony is an occasion for everyone to acknowledge and celebrate your efforts.
The gratitude and respect of the Australian community for your service is deeply inscribed in the symbols that adorn the beautifully crafted medals you will receive today.
Those receiving Awards in the Order of Australia will note the glorious royal blue of their ribbon - the colour of the ocean encircling our island continent, emblazoned with golden sprigs of our national flower, the golden wattle, its glorious blossom emulated in the beads and radiating lines emanating from the insignia of the Order of Australia.
Those receiving the Public Service Medal will see on their ribbon our national colours of green and gold. On their medal, ensigned by the Federation Star, are engraved 36 human figures symbolizing a range of occupations and activities. On the back of the medal again we see the wattle, this time as a wreath around the inscription ‘For Outstanding Service’.
For me these shining medals also represent our beaming community, proud and grateful for your achievements, and inspired by you to strive for excellence, to make a difference and to serve others.
On behalf of all Queenslanders, my sincere congratulations to you all. I hope you will wear your medals and use the postnominals to which you are now entitled with pride. They are the gift of a grateful nation and a symbol of your valued contribution, stories worth being shared and examples to be followed.
Please enjoy this moment and the celebratory hospitality provided here at beautiful Fernberg for this occasion. Kaye and I are inspired by everything you have achieved, and we look forward to meeting with each of you and with your friends, families and colleagues during the reception.