Honours and Awards within the Australian Honours System: Investiture Ceremony D
Ladies and gentlemen, girls and boys.
It is with tremendous pleasure that Kaye and I welcome you all to Government House this morning, as family and friends come together to proudly celebrate the achievements of this select group of remarkable Queenslanders.
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.
For all of us at Government House, Investiture ceremonies - such as this one - are highlights of the vice-regal calendar, because they showcase the very essence of what it means to strive for excellence; to go above and beyond expectations, to work for the good of others, selflessly and tirelessly.
Yet, while this occasion is an important marker – a notable and joyous milestone in the stories of your contributions – Kaye and I know these few hours of celebration this morning represent a mere fraction of the accumulated time and spirit you have each dedicated in aiming for the best in your respective fields.
Indeed, your enduring commitment to making a positive difference and serving others in our communities, is what we are truly honouring today.
The fact that your peers have recognised in each of you the outstanding qualities required to be considered for these highest of Australian honours, is testimony to how valued you are as outstanding contributors, both to the vitality of your local neighbourhoods, and to our broader social well-being.
It is not surprising, then, that today’s citations demonstrate the diversity of your individual areas of achievement.
You are improving our natural world through your dedicated service to primary industry, urban water management, conservation and the environment, and horticulture.
You are enhancing our physical well being by excellence in the areas of eye health, medical administration, community health, and nursing.
You are developing our local communities, whether your efforts be specific to a region – such as in Logan, Yeronga, the Redlands, and the Sunshine Coast, or more broadly through your work with the Uniting Church, and the African community, or through your involvement with Lions and various Chinese organisations.
You are enriching our cultural experiences through your contributions to architecture, sport, the broadcast media, education and local history, and to the martial arts.
Yet, as you meet and talk to each other today, I’m sure you will find that the vocational differences between you are less significant than the human qualities you have in common – traits such as courage, dedication, kindness and civility.
You may also discover, that for some of you, the mutual commitment to excellence has come at a cost – through personal hardship, sacrifice or risk.
We therefore also need to pay tribute to the wonderful support given by the loved ones who sit proudly beside you.
Today you join the ranks of an exceptional and worthy group of Australians.
You are our nation’s role models, inspiring others by helping to define, encourage and reinforce our national aspirations, ideals and standards.
This legacy is perhaps the most important of all, because it looks forward, as our country continues to strive for betterment.
For this reason - when you leave Government House today - I encourage you to wear your pins with pride, not only as a reminder to you of today’s formal ceremony, but as a symbol of the lasting effects of your great achievements.
After all, your stories are still unfolding.
As representative of our Head of State, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, I commend you all for your efforts, and on behalf of all Queenslanders, Kaye and I, and the entire Government House team, congratulate you, and give you our heartfelt respect and gratitude.
We now invite you to enjoy the hospitality of Government House, and we look forward to speaking with you.