Cairns Investiture Ceremony
Ladies and gentlemen, official guests, recipients and their proud families and guests. What a beautiful morning to be here in magnificent Cairns.
I at once acknowledge the traditional owners of Cairns and the surrounding region, and extend respectful greetings to Elders and emerging leaders.
Of the many duties I perform as Governor, hosting Investiture Ceremonies is among my favourite and most important – a sentiment echoed also by Kaye.
We are delighted to share in this very special moment with you all. We are doubly delighted to have the opportunity to conduct these important ceremonies in the regions, in the communities where recipients live, work and effect beneficial change. Today’s is the seventh such ceremony Kaye and I have hosted in Cairns since 2014.
Australian Honours and Awards hold tremendous personal and community significance.
Their central purpose is to commend those outstanding personal contributions to public life, and to recognise brave and gallant acts.
Their second purpose is to define, encourage and reinforce those attributes which bind and unite our communities: resilience, fortitude, tolerance, and compassion.
Decisions to confer Australian Honours and Awards are not made lightly.
Our system is importantly free of patronage or political influence; anyone can suggest a candidate to be acknowledged.
Once received, nominations are then subjected to rigorous vetting by the Secretariat in Canberra, before recipients are publicly announced and recognised at ceremonies like today’s.
All of today’s recipients are, in their own way, extraordinary.
They have invested energies into a wide variety of causes, including but not limited to higher education, the arts, community service, conservation and the environment. or servies to the parliament or our State-defining Indigenous communities.
And while they have done so without seeking personal benefit, I urge them to display their medals and awards with pride – they are symbols of a supportive community, positively aligned.
Those who have been recognised for their gallantry or bravery have given to us, as a society, in a way that is both unique and altruistic: unique, because what you have done is truly out of the ordinary; altruistic, because you did so to secure the safety of others.
All of you have demonstrated those enduring characteristics which we so rightly cherish in Queensland: mutual support, noble service to all, loyalty, equality, and solidarity.
In doing so, you have helped to build a strong, cohesive, tolerant society that respects the equal worth, dignity and freedoms of every individual.
And I know you will have been supported along the way by your friends and family; Kaye and I acknowledge and thank you all, too.
Ladies and gentlemen, please enjoy this most special occasion today. It is an honour, as Governor, with Kaye, to commend you all on behalf of the people of our grateful State.