The Order of Australia Association Queensland Branch 21st Secondary School Citizenship Awards
Minister Farmer, and all members of the Legislative Assembly; Chairman, Dr Gary Bacon and Committee Members; Awards sponsor, Mr Tim Fairfax; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen; students, from all over Queensland.
I at once acknowledge the traditional owners of these lands, and extend respectful greetings to Elders and emerging leaders. I further thank the Cannon Hill Anglican College String Quartet for their excellent rendition of the National Anthem.
I am delighted to be with you this afternoon for the presentation of the 21st Secondary School Citizenship Awards, honouring the wonderful young people in our State who exemplify the meaning of service to community.
Given that sadly, last year’s event was cancelled, I am pleased that the Queensland Branch of the Order of Australia Association invited me to present their 2021 Awards—as it will be my last opportunity to do so in my role as 26th Governor of Queensland, and it is an occasion I very much enjoy.
It is always deeply inspiring and tremendously uplifting to meet young Queenslanders who bring such enthusiasm and energy to everything they do, particularly when they demonstrate a genuine willingness to improve the world for others.
Today’s awardees are being recognised for contributing to our society with such commitment and dedication, that they were nominated by their teachers and principals for upholding the ideals of citizenship.
While being a good citizen is something we should all strive for, it relies on putting thoughts into actions.
Your efforts not only show tremendous drive, but also a fair dash of courage— particularly when your senior year is challenging enough, without the added uncertainty brought by a global pandemic!
Most importantly, you each possess the qualities we associate with strong citizenship—integrity, resourcefulness, a readiness to participate, leadership, and above all, generosity to look beyond your own needs to help others.
Indeed, the wonderful thing about these annual Awards is that they celebrate diversity—highlighting that resilient, inclusive and thriving communities rely on input from a range of personalities, in a myriad of different ways.
I am sure that as you journey through your lives—in whatever disciplines you choose—your active involvement in volunteering will continue to enhance our State’s vitality.
As Governor and Patron, I thank the Association for encouraging our young people to become such outstanding citizens. It gives me great heart to know that the early support and recognition you give is helping to foster a spirit of compassion that can only benefit our future.
I also thank those who have supported these young people and encouraged them in their activities. I am sure this may have involved significant time and effort on your part, and you are to be commended for aiding in their ongoing development.
Finally, on behalf of all Queenslanders, heartfelt congratulations to our awardees for being such inspirational role models for others, and for making us all so proud.
I wish you successful and fulfilling lives ahead.