Cairns Investiture Ceremony
Official guests; ladies and gentlemen; girls and boys. Good morning, and welcome to this very special ceremony in a most magnificent city.
I at once acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we gather, and pay respect to their Elders past and present – with encouragement to their young emerging leaders.
It has been both a pleasure and a privilege to present my fellow Queenslanders with the honours they have received today.
As always, the people of Cairns have extended a warm welcome to Kaye and me, and it is wonderful to be back in Far North Queensland again – just two weeks after basing part of our fourth annual Regional Government House program in your beautiful city.
Watching the news lately, we could be forgiven for believing the world is a terrible place, besieged by challenges too great for us to overcome.
It is understandable to feel that way.
Each day we hear that Australians are divided in so many ways, that our common ground is shaky, or that we are more interested in ourselves than the community around us.
And yet, here we are, honouring today a group of citizens who demonstrate just the opposite; a diverse range of men and women who, through their determination, courage, empathy and passion for public service, make Australia a better place to be than the nightly news would have us believe.
Their numbers include men and women who, motivated by nothing more than an innate concern for another’s welfare, choose to risk their personal safety for the well-being of others.
These gestures may not always dominate the headlines, but such selfless acts are at the very heart of what we know to be the true Australian spirit.
And so, today is undoubtedly a good news day.
On behalf of the people of Queensland, Kaye and I thank you – our honourees – for making it so.
Today, we have honoured 21 people from across all aspects of the Queensland community who have dedicated themselves to its advancement.
The positive effects of your achievements, ladies and gentlemen, are far-reaching, which is why your fellow citizens have nominated you for this honour.
You may come from different backgrounds and fields of endeavour, but you all demonstrate values of which Australians are proud – care for others, tolerance, ingenuity, courage, and a sense of justice.
You are lawmakers, educators, fundraisers and broadcasters.
You are tourist-operators, community volunteers and sports administrators.
Some of you come from the fields of defence, medicine, community health and engagement.
Whether you are enriching or safeguarding the lives of your fellow Queenslanders, each one of you is honoured today for an immense contribution.
On behalf of the people of Queensland, whom I am privileged to represent, I thank you for your commitment to our community.
As The Queen’s representative here in our State, I am greatly honoured to present these awards today on behalf of Her Majesty in her role as the Sovereign Head of the Order of Australia.
Kaye and I extend our warmest congratulations to the recipients, on behalf of all Queenslanders, as well as to the families and friends who have supported them on their journey.
I encourage you, ladies and gentlemen, to wear the symbols of recognition you have received with the utmost pride, so that others may be inspired by your stories of achievement.
Thank you once again for the invaluable contributions you have made – and continue to make – to our State.