Government House Investiture Ceremony D, Tuesday 22 November, 10am
Representing the Premier and Minister for the Olympics, Member for Greenslopes, Mr Joe Kelly MP; representing the Chair of the Order of Australia Association, Mrs Marjorie Voss OAM; 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.
Welcome to Government House and to today’s ceremony to invest these 21 exceptional people with Australian Honours and Awards.
In light of the sad occasion of the passing of Queen Elizabeth the Second, our beloved monarch of 70 years, in early September, we delayed several Investiture Ceremonies.
Thank you for your patience and understanding in that regard.
I would like to pay special tribute to the late Dr James Cameron, and the late Mrs Ellen Theresa Williams, who have today been posthumously recognised for their respective contributions to cardiology and to the performing arts. I thank their family members for standing proudly in their place.
It’s now almost half a century since the Order of Australia was established to replace the British Imperial awards, and over that time it has earned great respect not only here but internationally for its rigour, integrity, and impartiality.
As the latest recipients, you can be assured that everything possible is done to preserve that reputation.
The Order was established by Queen Elizabeth II. As representative of the Monarch in Australia, the Governor-General serves as Chancellor of the Order.
A dedicated Honours Secretariat sits within the Office of the Governor-General and conducts careful and confidential research before a decision is made on any award.
Numerous references are sought, often beyond those named on the nomination form, to ensure that the process remains free of political influence or other undue interference.
All of that, before each nomination is finally assessed and a decision made as to the type and level of award.
It’s a very long process which, for some of you, would have begun well over a year ago.
You, and by extension, your families, friends and communities can therefore feel justifiably proud in being honoured in this way.
Honours and Awards are important because they help define, encourage and reinforce national aspirations, ideals and standards by identifying people who make an outstanding contribution to society.
The citations you have heard this morning demonstrate just how rich and varied those contributions are.
There are representatives from fields as diverse as audiology, optometry, medicine, medical governance, tertiary education, and charitable organisations, manufacturing, community service and volunteering, emergency services, military service and veterans, water polo, the Indian community, history preservation and the performing arts.
The range is truly remarkable.
This room has seen many Investiture Ceremonies since the Order of Australia was established and for me and my predecessors, these ceremonies are always a highlight of the annual calendar.
Everyone in the Office of the Governor, from the chefs and gardeners to the administrative staff and our volunteers, takes great care to ensure that it is a memorable day for the recipients and their guests.
As Governor, I am privileged to speak for all Queenslanders.
On their behalf, I once again congratulate and thank today’s recipients for their service to our nation, our State and Australian society.
I now invite you to enjoy the hospitality of Government House.
I look forward to meeting and speaking with you all.