Honours and Awards within the Australian Honours System Investiture Ceremony F
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls.
I begin by acknowledging the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we gather, the Turrbul and Jagera people, and extend respect to Elders past, and present with encouragement to their young emerging leaders.
Kaye and I warmly welcome you all to Government House, thank those of you who have travelled some distance, and congratulate each of today’s recipients for your marvelous achievements.
Each of you, in your own way, has contributed to encouraging positive advancement on a local, state, national or international level through lengthy devotion to your area of focus.
Excellence comes in many forms, yet I believe the unifying quality connecting each of you today, is one of exemplary service.
Indeed, as anthropologist Margaret Mead once said: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world.”
Today, we are recognising and celebrating individuals who have reached the greatest of heights, whether it is via notable achievement, meritorious service, or through positive contribution to the greater good of our society.
These awards have not been earned swiftly and with ease.
Concerted dedication, curiosity, enthusiasm, and generosity of spirit are all necessary to make a true difference.
So too, is your willingness to go beyond your official roles. You have become advisors, leaders, innovators, educators, advocates and champions.
For this diligence, I commend you.
At this point, I would also like to acknowledge your family and friends, many of whom may have been vital to your success. These sometimes under-recognised supporters are to be applauded for their immense loyalty.
Today, we have heard twenty-two citations, representing a wonderful diversity, yet demonstrating too, a shared focus on energetic commitment.
We can see this dedication in your distinguished service to education in the field of business innovation.
It is seen in your work in youth development, and the tourism industry, and in your efforts to advance wildlife preservation and the environment.
We honour it in your contributions to healthcare, whether that is through the field of pharmacy, the specialty medical area of proctology, or via public health administration and aeromedical care services.
We discover this determination in our regional and remote communities where in a myriad of ways you are helping to improve the social health and prosperity of people in Palmerston, in the Diamantina and Wee Waa…Or more generally through involvement with organisations such as Care Leavers Australasia Network, and the Department of Education.
It comes to us in areas as different as harness racing and hockey, and service to the aviation transport industry.
And this passion to effect positive change is recognised in the awards given to those of you improving the well-being of our citizens through your work in fire and emergency services, ambulance and corrective services.
Your endeavours demonstrate that excellence is not about elitism, but about inclusion. It is not about reaching perfection, but about continually seeking improvement. It is not about finding answers, but about relentlessly questioning.
Indeed, as ambassadors for excellence, your influence extends far beyond the Investiture room in which we are celebrating today.
I encourage you to show others you meet and interact with, that they can also strive for such excellence, through their own unique practice of “thoughtful commitment”. You can demonstrate this in a simple way by wearing the pins and medals you have been given today and being proud of everything they represent.
Kaye and I hope you will all enjoy the hospitality of Government House, as I extend to you, on behalf of the people of Queensland, my profound gratitude and warmest congratulations.