Government House Investiture Ceremony A, May 2023
Representing the Premier, Member for Pine Rivers and Assistant Minister for Local Government, Ms Nikki Boyd MP; Chair of The Order of Australia Association, Queensland Branch, Mrs Ronda Nix OAM; award recipients, your family and friends; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen; boys and girls.
I begin by acknowledging the Traditional Owners of the lands around Brisbane, the Turrbal and Jagera people, and pay my respects to Elders past, present and emerging, and to any First Nations people here today.
It is a great pleasure to welcome you all to Government House this afternoon for a very special event—the presentation of Australian Honours and Awards to deserving Queenslanders.
I have recently returned from attending the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla. Even if you did not watch the event on TV, it would have been difficult to miss the pageantry of this historic occasion, with all its deeply significant traditions.
Today’s investiture ceremony may not quite reach the pomp and spectacle of the Coronation, but it is immensely important, because it shines a light on the individuals in our communities who are exemplars of the ideals and aspirations of our nation itself.
I am therefore so proud to uphold this important tradition in our State.
Today we honour Queenslanders who truly demonstrate what the word “service” means. The dictionary may define it as the “action of helping or doing work for someone” but of course, we know that “service”—when it comes to these awards—means so much more.
This “service” requires an immense generosity of spirit. It involves exceeding expectations, taking risks, and contributing to the fortunes of our State, in a vitally essential way.
Such service encourages stronger communities, by improving and enriching lives—it is a powerful thread that links you all.
This afternoon I have presented awards recognising outstanding efforts in the fields of physical health, mental health, dentistry and public health, business, education, horticulture, agriculture, the arts and cultural sectors, tourism, the community specifically the Greek Community and sport.
We have recognised those who are at the cutting edge of science and research, those who are dedicated advocates and who are champions for charitable organisations and groups.
We also have those who are working tirelessly in their communities to make people feel valued and included, creating a greater sense of social cohesion and improving our world in so many ways.
Despite your differences, you share an outstanding sense of looking outwards—a willingness to pass on the knowledge and experience you have gathered in your lives with those around you, so that your efforts are amplified and will continue to have an impact into the future.
At this point, I wish to pay special tribute to the late, Mr Stephen Edward Gregg, who has been recognised for his significant service to the Queensland tourism industry, and I would also like to specially mention the late Mr Graeme Robert Pettigrew for his wide-reaching service to the community.
It is so sad that these two men passed away before they could receive their awards, but we are all so proud of their achievements, just as all of you should be particularly proud that it was your peers and colleagues who nominated you for this recognition.
You are our nation’s role models, showing others what is possible when hard work, tenacity and altruism coalesce.
The legacy you are building will continue to strengthen our State and country in the years ahead. I therefore encourage you to wear your medals and decorations with pride, as they signify the impact individuals can have on the greater good.
I commend you for your efforts, and on behalf of all Queenslanders, I congratulate you, with heartfelt respect and gratitude.
I do hope you enjoy being in the spotlight—it is your time to shine!