Honours and Awards within the Australian Honours System: Investiture Ceremony D
Ladies and gentlemen, girls and boys, Kaye and I are truly delighted to welcome to Government House today this distinguished group of fellow Queenslanders, their proud families and friends, and our official guests.
I acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we gather, the Turrbul and Jagera people, and pay respect to their Elders past and present – with encouragement to their young emerging leaders.
This historic room is known as the Investiture Room because ceremonies like today’s are its primary purpose.
Having said that, investitures are by no means a daily occurrence.
On the contrary – they signify some of the highest recognitions one can receive.
As Governor of Queensland – the representative of our Head of State, Queen Elizabeth the Second – I consider hosting these investiture ceremonies, both at Fernberg and beyond, to be among my most important duties.
The Australian Honours System began in 1975 with the creation of the Order of Australia, as well as the Australian Bravery Decorations and the National Medal, to recognise service to the nation or humanity.
Prior to that, Australians were recognised under the British honours system, also known as the Imperial Awards.
Today, there are no less than 58 awards in the Australian Honours System.
Their first purpose is to commend those who have made outstanding contributions to public life.
Their second purpose is to define, encourage and reinforce community standards, as well as national aspirations and ideals, by acknowledging actions and achievements and identifying positive role models.
That definition – the spirit of which encompasses all honours and awards bestowed today – says something significant about our people and what we stand for, admire and respect as a nation.
It reflects the values that underpin Australian society and the extremely high regard in which we hold those who devote themselves to others.
It also defines the qualities that we in our country consider to be exceptional – generosity, service to others, commitment and persistence, and dedication to excellence.
As these ceremonies clearly demonstrate, there are many ways to make a difference in our Queensland communities.
However, today’s recipients, 21 outstanding men and women from across the State, have contributed in a manner that is both unique and selfless.
They have given their time, intelligence and passion, some for many decades, in advocating for and supporting fields and causes as varied as engineering, law, medicine, social welfare, sports, and the military.
All in their very own special way, the people acknowledged today have shown what it means to be a true Australian.
From the men and women who have tirelessly advanced their professions, to those members of the defence force who put their lives at risk in serving our nation, each of you is an example to the rest of us.
Ladies and gentlemen, please allow me to congratulate you once again on your marvellous achievements, and thank you wholeheartedly for everything you have done.
Please, don’t let the physical symbols of your awards gather dust, but make them a force for good by wearing them with pride – these symbols will undoubtedly serve as inspiration to others in your respective communities, and in your shared State.
We are indebted to you all.