Speeches

The Governor is invited to speak at a wide range of significant official, ceremonial and community events, including the Opening of Parliament, ANZAC Day ceremonies and events for Patron groups. A selection of these speeches is available below in a searchable database.

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 at Government House, Brisbane

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.

As you have just seen, Government House presents Australian Honours and Awards with considerable formality. 

That is as it should be. Formality and ceremony emphasise the special nature of the day. They highlight the great prestige of the national awards being presented.

But today is a celebration as well as a formal ceremony. That explains the happy faces in this room, the warm applause we give each awardee, and the fact that we will adjourn in a short while to enjoy some Government House hospitality.

Formality and ceremony aside, we have also been witness today to a story being told, to a narrative being assembled.

It is a story that appears, at first, to be ‘all over the place’. 

We have heard of contributions to the international Papua New Guinea and Philippines communities, the Italian community, and communities in Capalaba and East Brisbane.  

How do they fit in with service to the law and the judiciary including in the Supreme Court of Queensland, the Family Court, industrial law and legal education?

We have also heard about services to education, from mathematics to management. Service to politics and the community in local government and the Australian and Queensland parliaments also feature, as do contributions in the field of health in pathology, community health, medical education, and as a physician.

The diversity does not end there. The arts sector is involved too, with distinguished contributions in ballet and artistic direction, church music, in the visual arts and media, and in the entertainment industry on the Gold Coast.

Then there are wonderful achievements in the support of Indigenous women, engineering, wildlife conservation, Australia-Indonesia relations, and the finance sector. 

Not to mention contributions through the public service to cultural heritage, human services, legal education, social policy and local government.

What kind of story could this be, especially given that many of the main characters in this story, our awardees, have never met? 

The only obvious common factor is the national awards presented to each of them today. But the story goes much deeper than that.  

Day in and day out, today’s awardees have been exemplars of a range of values of the highest importance to the well-being of our communities – a tenacious commitment to excellence, the deepest care and compassion, outstanding professionalism, a dauntless commitment to the service of others.

And they have done so in a manner that is well beyond the everyday and the expected, which is why they are here today.  

Ultimately, today’s awardees really are part of the same narrative and that narrative is inextricably linked with the word ‘community’.

Their energy, actions and achievements have made our communities more robust, have helped bind individual communities together, and have strengthened crucial institutions. They have helped make our society fairer and more caring.

This level of commitment and achievement is not accomplished without personal sacrifice.

It requires hard work, dedication to principles and values, and endurance. Ask their families, friends and colleagues, whom I thank as the marvellous supporting cast in this story!

Kaye and I extend our heartfelt thanks to you, today’s awardees, as the lead characters in that story of community, for all you have done for our State and our country. We are fortunate to have you among us. Thank you.