Reception to Present Queen’s Awards to Members of the Boys’ and Girls’ Brigades Australia, Queensland
State Commissioner of the Girls’ Brigade Queensland, Mrs Heather Richards; State President of the Boys’ Brigade Queensland, Mr Gordon Wallace; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen.
I at once acknowledge the traditional owners of the lands around Brisbane and extend respectful greetings to Elders and emerging leaders.
Kaye and I welcome you to Government House this evening, as we recognise the outstanding achievements of very special members of the Boys’ and Girls’ Brigades in Queensland.
I am pleased we are able to meet in person, given the circumstances of the year.
This is my seventh year presenting the Queen’s Badges and Awards to Brigaders.
As Patron of both Brigades, it has made me tremendously proud each year to see so many fine young Queenslanders striving to improve themselves in order to have a positive impact on others.
2020 has been especially difficult, with COVID-19 disrupting regular activities, restricting face-to-face interaction with friends and leaders, and generating great uncertainty.
Yet with true perseverance and determination, the Brigaders with us this evening have fulfilled the diverse physical, spiritual, intellectual and community tasks required to qualify for these awards, and I wholeheartedly commend you all for your accomplishments.
I believe the ethos of both the Boys’ and Girls’ Brigades is one that not only paves the way for being the best you can be, but also strengthens your ability to face challenges, whether these affect one or many.
Indeed, the Brigades have always provided a reassuring dependency, and fostered a wonderful spirit of camaraderie amongst members.
A fun, inclusive and encouraging environment helps generate thoughtful, competent and courageous individuals, who will embrace life’s opportunities and lead by their unique example.
This comes through the development of personal faith, yet draws on the wider tradition represented by the Brigades themselves and what these peak awards – named in honour of our reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II – signify now and when they were first bestowed many years ago.
I congratulate both the Boys’ and Girls’ Brigades, and especially all the dedicated leaders whose efforts to provide ongoing connection and direction for Brigaders, have ensured the successes of this year’s awardees. My thanks also go to parents and loved ones who have supported the Brigaders on their journeys.
I take great heart in knowing that another impressive group of young people will be taking their skills and knowledge into our communities, and in doing so, will continue to enrich our entire State.