Investiture Ceremony for Honours and Awards within the Australian Honours System
Official guests, ladies and gentlemen, girls and boys. Kaye and I are delighted to welcome you to Government House for today’s special ceremony.
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 is Kaye’s and my great pleasure that you are all here.
Great community significance is attached to these ceremonies, where we pause to pay gratitude for contributions which bind our society. That’s why ceremonies are held before official guests here at Government House, an important symbol of Statehood and community.
For our recipients, and their proud families and friends, today is differently significant – personally significant.
As anyone who has ever been the recipient of such an award knows, the time, dedication and hard work on the journey to being in this room today often belongs to more than just the recipient. And so I say congratulations to all here today.
The act of “investiture” has its origins in the Middle Ages. The word stems from the Latin verb, vestire “to dress” or vestis “robe”.
Investiture in the Middle Ages was the ceremonial act of dressing people in robes to signify their taking up certain roles. In the eleventh and twelfth centuries, investiture was a serious business and not without controversy! Such was the significance of investitures that there was a tug of war about who had the power to perform them.
I am pleased to say that in the modern age, such tussles are behind us, and it is my happy duty to have the opportunity, as Her Majesty’s representative in Queensland, of “dressing” you with your awards at ceremonies such as this.
The Investiture Ceremony we witnessed today is a contemporary translation of those centuries’ old traditions.
Like many great traditions, it has evolved over time to remain appropriate for the time and community in which it takes place. As such, I am sure our recipients won’t mind me gloating about them on my official social media accounts!
Indeed, it is clear from the citations read today that you are here based on your meritorious actions.
It is truly wonderful to have this opportunity to recognise the work of Queenslanders who have, in a variety of ways, contributed to the betterment of our community.
I am always amazed at the many fields represented at these ceremonies, from medical practice, research and education to nursing, community health and philanthropy.
We have heard of dedicated contributions to the law and higher education, journalism and media, maritime safety, building, city planning, construction, plumbing and engineering, and sustainable energy, science and information technology – what a microcosm of a successful society! Many more are committed advocates for their local towns and cities, and active in broad community endeavour.
It is also humbling to note the many varied ways in which those receiving these honours find ways of serving their communities.
I come now to six individuals who have also served their communities in a different way, putting themselves in immense danger to aid prisoners and fellow staff during a riot at Boggo Road more than 30 years ago.
Their split-second decisions of bravery will have had life-long consequences, for the rescued, and the rescuers and their families. Sirs, Mrs Grant, our community values the brave actions undertaken that day.
To all of our recipients, there is no single way in which our community is enriched by your work and actions. It is the sum of the parts represented here that makes Queensland such an incredible place and which we celebrate in all its diversity.
I thank you for your contributions and congratulate you on receiving this recognition. I further invite everyone here today to join Kaye and me in celebrating this special day during the proceeding reception. Thank you.