Government House Investiture Ceremony E, Tuesday 22 November, 2pm
Representing the Premier and Minister for the Olympics, Member for Stretton, Mr James Martin MP; representing the Queensland Police Service Commissioner, Assistant Commissioner, Brisbane Region, Mr Cameron Harsley; Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Greg Leach AFSM; Queensland Corrective Services Commissioner Paul Stewart; representing the Chair of the Order of Australia Association, Mr Graham Hyde OAM; representing the Australian Bravery Association, Ms Pamela Davidson BM; 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.
One of the great privileges I have as Governor is to present Queenslanders with Order of Australia honours on behalf of the Sovereign Head of the Order, His Majesty, King Charles the Third.
In consideration 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.
This afternoon’s ceremony publicly recognises the achievements of 23 worthy Queenslanders, and enables me to, finally, to invest Professor Clements with the honour he was awarded four years ago.
It also gives me the opportunity to congratulate and thank you all personally for your significant contribution to our community, our State – and to Australia.
When Australian Honours were first approved by Queen Elizabeth the Second in 1975 to replace the British Imperial system, we had only two awards: the Order of Australia and the Bravery Decorations.
Almost half a century later, there are 58 different awards, enabling men and women in a much greater range of professions and callings to be acknowledged for their contribution.
Today’s ceremony is an excellent example of that diversity.
I am formally appointing five Members of the Order of Australia, and presenting a further three recipients with the Medal of the Order of Australia, as well as five Public Service Medals, four Australian Police Medals, two Australian Fire Service Medals, the Ambulance Service Medal, the Australian Corrections Medal, and two Bravery Medals.
When you look closely at your medals, you will see that the effort and care extends to the symbols included in the design of each medal and to the colours and patterns chosen for the ribbons.
There are scales of justice on the Corrections medal, for instance, and scarlet flames on the ribbon for the Fire Service Medal.
And if you count carefully, you will discover that there are 24 tiny balls surrounding the Federation Star on the Ambulance Medal, representing the 24 hours a day that the Ambulance Service is available to the community.
Each medal is rich in symbolism and signifies your nation’s gratitude for the contribution you have made to your community, your State, and to Australia.
I acknowledge and thank the recipients we honour here today for their commitment and contribution to Australia.
You have each been recognised by the community and I hope you will wear your medals and decorations with both pride and honour, because you have earned the respect of the nation.
On behalf of all Queenslanders, congratulations!