Honours and Awards within the Australian Honours System: Investiture Ceremony B
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls. I welcome you to the Investiture Room of Government House, as we honour the recipients of today’s awards.
Kaye and I are delighted to have your company.
I begin by acknowledging the traditional owners 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.
The Australian Honours and Awards system is the pre-eminent way our country seeks to recognise outstanding accomplishment and service.
So, to be acknowledged in this way certainly reflects an exceptional personal achievement.
Yet, it has been said that it takes a village to raise a child.
To that end, I would like to suggest that it has taken a village – or at least a very strong support team - to help this group of awardees to reach today’s milestone.
So, I would like to especially acknowledge the family and friends who are with us today.
Each of you is here because you have played a vital role in supporting, loving and encouraging today’s award-winners. I have no doubt they would like me to take this opportunity to thank you all.
Australia’s distinctive honours system was introduced in 1975, with the creation of the Order of Australia, to recognise service to the nation or humanity.
Recipients of Australian Honours and Awards are recognised for the remarkable contribution they have made to the betterment of our society.
This is a truly egalitarian awards system that helps to consolidate what it means to be an outstanding Australian.
Determined. Curious. Fair. Hard-working. Outward-looking.
Today’s recipients possess all these qualities and more.
Nelson Mandela once said that "our human compassion binds us the one to the other".
Perhaps, above all else, it is this sense of compassion – so vital to our social wellbeing - that motivates the men and women whose remarkable achievements we honour today.
If today’s recipients demonstrate anything though, it is that you can make a compelling difference in a wide variety of ways.
Because here we are, honouring a group of Australians whose contributions are as diverse as they are altruistic.
Today we celebrate individuals from the sciences, the arts and aviation.
From the fields of medicine, engineering, multiculturalism, tourism and finance.
We honour women who have changed perceptions and challenged the status quo.
We reward those who have made a genuine difference, whether in the halls of government, on the sporting field or to their community.
And, we offer our thanks to those among us who give, not for victory or reward, but because of their innate commitment to the welfare of others - to the ideals of inclusivity and belonging.
These awards are not given out lightly. The staff of the Australian Honours and Awards Secretariat in Canberra research thousands of nominations before decisions are made.
So, I encourage you to be immensely proud of receiving this award today because, in truth, it does more than honour your own achievements.
It also demonstrates to others that resilience, fortitude, tolerance and care for our fellow Australians are things we should all value and celebrate.
I urge you to wear the symbols of your achievements with pride, in order that we are reminded of this.
As Governor of Queensland, who has the honour of representing the great people of this State, I conclude, quite simply, by extending our gratitude for the contribution you have made to our community and our country.
Kaye and I now invite you to enjoy the hospitality of Government House - and wish you an afternoon we trust you will cherish for many years to come. Thank you.