Honours and Awards within the Australian Honours System Investiture Ceremony G
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls.
Kaye and I are delighted to welcome you all to Government House for today’s Investiture Ceremony. We receive many exceptional visitors here at Fernberg, but none are more acclaimed than you: the most recent recipients of Australian Honours and Awards.
I at once acknowledge 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.
It would not surprise you that Australia is consistently ranked among the happiest countries in the world. And, as you will agree, there are many possible explanations why we are so happy. Australia’s outstanding outdoor lifestyle for example. It can be no coincidence that in an average year, close to 10 million tourists flock to Australia from all corners of the globe to be entranced by its natural beauty.
And let’s not disregard the millions of migrants who have chosen to make Australia home over the past decades. If you ask them, there is a fair chance they would tell you something we already know but take for granted: it’s not only lifestyle that makes Australia what it is. It’s the people too. It’s the people and their natural beauty within.
As diverse as we are, Australians share certain characteristics that help us climb the happiness ladder together. We look after one another. We care about each other. And we are not afraid to go the extra mile to assist those who need it most. In Australia, kindness is the greatest gift. And we know that from little things, big things grow.
As poet John O’Donohue once said: “If you send out goodness from yourself, or if you share that which is happy or good within you, it will all come back to you multiplied ten thousand times.In the kingdom of love there is no competition; there is no possessiveness or control. The more love you give away, the more love you will have”
Too often, the headlines shout about what is not going well in society, ignoring the quiet movers and shakers that make this country an even better place to live. Today is an opportunity to focus on the positives. Today, we acknowledge the hard work and celebrate the accomplishments of a very special group of people: that is, you.
Recipients of Australian Honours and Awards are part of an exclusive club comprised of the very best our nation has to offer. You are an example to all of us, having made significant contributions to a strong, cohesive, tolerant community that respects the equal worth, dignity and freedoms of every individual values that we all embrace.
The citations we have just heard demonstrate that you have found a variety of ways to make a difference. But what you have in common is that your contributions are both unique and altruistic.
Unique, because your accomplishments are truly out of the ordinary. Altruistic, because you acted without wondering what would be in it for you. By these actions, you have shown what it means to be a real Australian: a mate to many and of noble service to all.
As Governor of Queensland and representative of our Head of State, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, I would like to commend you for your achievements and offer our profound thanks for the wonderful acts you have done and which I hope you will continue to do. Each and every one of you has made our country not only a better, but indeed also a happier place to live.
I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say that we are extremely grateful for that. And so, I urge you to wear the symbols of your achievements with pride, in order that we are reminded of this.
As we conclude the formalities, Kaye and I invite you to enjoy the hospitality of Government House and to talk to your fellow recipients. We look forward to meeting you all shortly.