Investiture Ceremony for Honours and Awards within the Australian Honours System
Official guests, ladies and gentlemen, girls and boys. Welcome to Government House. Kaye and I are absolutely delighted that you join us here on this very special day.
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.
The Governor of Queensland has a great many duties and privileges.
One of the most important duties – and, indeed, one of the greatest privileges – is that of conferring Australian Honours and Awards at Investiture Ceremonies.
These 30 extraordinary citizens have all made a signal contribution to our communities.
For some, it was through an act of extreme bravery. For others, it has been through a dedicated service in their chosen professions.
To all of them, I offer the gratitude of the State.
The citations we have heard reveal extraordinary service to the police, fire, ambulance, emergency and correctional services.
These roles are known for selflessness and sacrifice, as the heroics of the bushfire responses have so compellingly reminded us.
They are the people that Queenslanders look up to. They are the people who keep Queenslanders safe.
Our bravery recipients have also given of themselves, with no thought to their own safety or security. They have instead acted solely out of concern for another.
They have put themselves in harm’s way so that others may benefit.
We are used to hyperbole in contemporary discourse, but it is not a stretch to say that all recipients, in some way, are superheroes.
Today they join a very select group of people who are recipients under the Australian honours system.
It was set up in 1975 to reward citizens for deeds that benefit the nation and its people.
You will, I hope, excuse my indulgences for a moment, but that year, 1975, in relation to superheroes, also saw the very first collaboration between the two great companies, DC and Marvel. They came together to create their own version of the Marvellous Wizard of Oz.
That story is not about super-humans with superpowers. It is a story about a brave little girl and a trio of friends who together protected a community.
It is noteworthy that DC and Marvel, who had the whole world of superheroes at their disposal, didn’t choose Superman or Batman or Spiderman as their first collaboration.
Instead, they chose characters with ordinary lives who did extraordinary things, based on their personal strength of character and integrity.
Every one of the 30 recipients today has proved themselves to be exceptional. They have all found themselves in tough and uncompromising situations, often through their vocations, and have risen to the occasion in an exemplary manner.
I thank them on behalf of those who owe so much to them. We are grateful for all that they have done.
May I add, also, that we are grateful to all of you who have come here today, the friends and families of those who are being honoured.
You share in that honour, because they could not have become the people they are without your love and support.
Please take some time after the ceremony to enjoy the hospitality of Government House and to share your experiences with your fellow outstanding citizens. It is a momentous occasion; I hope you will enjoy every moment of it.