Investiture Ceremony for Honours and Awards within the Australian Honours System
Official guests, ladies and gentlemen, girls and boys. Welcome to Government House.
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.
Kaye and I are grateful you could join us as we celebrate a very special occasion – the awarding of Australian Honours and Awards to outstanding Queenslanders.
Of all my varied duties as Governor of Queensland, hosting Investiture Ceremonies such as this is a genuine highlight. In bestowing these awards, I have the privilege of meeting the individuals, and their friends and families, behind remarkable stories of dedication and achievement.
Today also gives me the opportunity to thank them for the diverse contributions they have made. By taking time out of our busy lives, we all reflect on what it means to give more, to do more, and to be more.
Most of the recipients in the room are either members of the Australian Defence Force or involved in philanthropic organisations supporting service personnel. For all of them, the term “service” means much more than “duty”.
“Service” denotes a selfless dedication to making a positive difference for others, whether this is by taking a commanding role in international efforts to combat terrorism, or ensuring improved outcomes for young people through education.
Your deeds may have taken place during active military service – far from Australia’s peaceful shores – or from within an office environment or community centre.
Yet innovative thinking, collaboration and consideration for others is what has made you so primed for success. This statement is equally true of our civilian recipients, who have distinguished themselves in the fields of education, local government, community endeavour, advocacy for commerce, and sustaining community acknowledgement of military contributions.
Your ability to interact effectively with others is the hallmark of true leadership. After all, at its most extreme, for military members, this clarity and capable direction could represent the difference between life and death.
The superlatives we have heard in the citations – like “exceptional” and “extraordinary”, demonstrate the lengths you have gone to, to achieve at the highest level.
In our Investiture Room, there is no doubt we have before us a select group of “doers”, people who put actions above words and whose efforts have left our country with enduring legacies that will benefit others for years to come.
Yet, achievements such as yours do not occur in a vacuum, as indeed, we know that serving the military is not limited to those just wearing the uniforms.
For some of you, your accomplishments may have come at some cost – through sacrifice or personal risk. We should therefore pay tribute to those special people in your lives who have supported you in your endeavours, and thank them for their unwavering encouragement.
To me, these awards signify much more than individual achievement. They highlight the very qualities that help build a strong and well-adjusted society – one that considers freedom and equality its cornerstones.
These are qualities that we each hold dear. I therefore encourage you to wear these medals and pins with tremendous pride, so that others may see that the most significant human accomplishments come from those who make positive things happen.
As representative of our Head of State, Her Majesty The Queen, I commend you for your efforts. On behalf of all Queenslanders, I offer you Kaye’s and my deepest respect and gratitude.
Now, it is with great pleasure that I invite you to enjoy the hospitality of Government House, and take this time to revel in being the focus of community attention. Thank you.