Government House Investiture Ceremony C, Monday 21 November 2022, 2pm
Representing the Premier and Minister for the Olympics, Member for Richlands, Ms Kim Richards MP; representing the Commanding Officer of HMAS Moreton, Royal Australian Navy, Lieutenant Commander Amy Brauns; representing the Chair of the Order of Australia Association, Mr Peter McMurtrie AO; Queensland Olympic Council President, Mr Paul Gonzalez; Queensland Olympic Council Secretary General, Mr John Lamont; award recipients, your family and friends; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen; boys and girls.
I begin by acknowledging the original custodians of the lands around Brisbane, the Turrbal and Jagera people, and pay my respect to Elders, past, present, and emerging. I extend that respect to any First Nations people here with us today.
The conferring of Australian Honours and Awards is a very important part of the Governor’s role, and I look forward to each ceremony with great anticipation.
It is both a pleasure and a privilege to meet and personally congratulate the outstanding women and men who have been recognised through these awards.
In the wake of the passing of Queen Elizabeth the Second, our beloved monarch of 70 years, in early September, we delayed several Investiture Ceremonies.
I thank you for your patience and understanding in that regard and am so pleased we could welcome you here today.
Australia’s distinctive honours system began in 1975 with the creation of the Order of Australia to replace the Imperial system of British honours.
Since then, many more awards have been added, to fully recognise the excellence, achievement or service of Australian citizens.
There are now 58 different awards in our HHonours and Awards system, and today I am very pleased to be presenting not only 11 Order of Australia medals, but a further 10 awards recognising the service of members of the Australian Defence Force.
The Conspicuous Service Cross and Medal were both established in 1989 to recognise the achievement of Defence Force personnel in non-wartime situations, while the Distinguished Service Decorations were introduced two years later to replace the Imperial honours for service in war.
The citations for such military honours are always memorable and inspiring, but those for the Order of Australia medals are no less so.
They demonstrate the remarkable strength of Australian communities and the diversity of activities and achievements that make them cohesive and resilient.
Today’s recipients are a superb example of that diversity.
Together, they are recognised for service in the fields of secondary education, sport, philanthropy, Indigenous health, faith-based and other community, social welfare and charity organisations, naval veterans, family history, training and the disability sector.
They include two members of the Australian Tokyo 2020 Olympic Team, receiving awards in the General Division of the Order of Australia and one member of the Australian armed forces who is receiving an award in the Military Division of the Order of Australia.
I would like to pay special tribute to the late Mr Matt McCracken, who is recognised today for service to people living with a disability. I thank his wife, Mrs Wendy McCracken for standing proudly in his place.
I congratulate everyone who has received an award today and, as Governor, I thank you on behalf of all Queenslanders for the part you have played in advancing your professions, your communities and our great State.
The medals you have received today are quintessentially Australian. The land is represented in the golden wattle blossoms on the Order of Australia ribbon, in the bush green and sandy gold ribbon of the Conspicuous Service awards, and in the ochre ribbon of the Distinguished Service commendation.
Your medals recognise, celebrate and thank you for making a difference and for serving others.
I know you will wear them with pride.
On behalf of all Queenslanders, thank you, and congratulations!