Australian Red Cross (Queensland) National Emergency Medals Presentation
Chair of the Australian Red Cross Queensland Divisional Advisory Board, Mrs Winifred Smith AM; Australian Red Cross Queensland Director, Mr Garry Page, and State Emergency Services Manager, Mr Collin Sivalingum; Australian Red Cross Emergency Services staff, members and volunteers; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen.
I respectfully acknowledge the people of the Yugambeh language region, the traditional owners of the land on which we meet, and pay my respect to their elders past and present, and all First Nations people here today.
As Governor of Queensland and Patron of Australian Red Cross Queensland, I am so pleased to be with you today, to present National Emergency Medals to those very special and brave individuals from the South-East Queensland region, who have assisted others during critical, and often life-threatening, natural disasters.
Sadly, our State has seen more than its fair share of such events during the past decade or so, and today, I am awarding medals for sustained or significant service in response to floods, cyclones and bushfires that caused widespread destruction and significant heartbreak to so many Queenslanders over the last decade.
As these awards are part of Australia’s Honours and Awards system, they are only given to those who are being recognised for demonstrating the highest level of service during emergencies that are considered of national significance.
You should therefore all be enormously proud of this tremendous achievement, which aside from demanding immense courage, also requires the exemplary qualities of selflessness, generosity and compassion.
It comes as no surprise that the Red Cross has produced so many recipients worthy of receiving these medals.
Throughout its long history, this is an organisation that has always stood up for humanity—bringing people and communities together at times of their greatest struggle; and providing practical and emotional help on-the-ground to prevent and relieve human suffering.
To do its important work, the Red Cross relies on valued volunteers and members, alongside its dedicated staff, to respond to situations that are rapidly unfolding and unpredictably dangerous, and therefore provides in-depth training to ensure those contributing to unfolding emergencies are well prepared for these confronting events.
I know that each of you being honoured today has been involved with the Red Cross for some time—and many of you for well over a decade—and this shows just how much this organisation’s sterling reputation for supporting its own people has encouraged long-term loyalty and respect.
Congratulations to all recipients for being such incredible Red Cross people. I also give my deepest thanks to the Queensland Director, Mr Garry Page, and the entire organisation—particularly those members and volunteers we are recognising today—for staying true to the foundational purpose of the Red Cross.