Investiture Ceremony - 10 May, 2022 (2pm)
I begin by acknowledging our official guests; Commissioner, Queensland Corrective Services, Commissioner Paul Stewart APM; Representing the Commissioner, Queensland Ambulance Services, Acting Deputy Commissioner Peter Warrener; Representing the Commissioner, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services, Deputy Commissioner Michael Wassing AFSM; Queensland President, Australian Bravery Association, Mrs Sally Gregory.
I also acknowledge the traditional owners of the lands on which we gather, the Turrbul and Jagera people, and pay respect to their Elders past and present, and emerging. I would also like to extend my respect to any First Nations people here with us today.
And of course, to our honoured award recipients and your family and friends who have joined you on this most special day, welcome.
It is my privilege, as the representative of Her Majesty the Queen, to invest worthy Queenslanders with their honours and awards under the Australian Honours System. While today’s proceedings may seem quite formal, these investiture ceremonies do command a high degree of formality and great respect because the awards themselves are symbols of the commitment and continuity that helps sustain our communities and build a strong, resilient society.
The awards also represent tradition and history, and here at Government House we are very proud to be custodians of an investiture practice that reflects symbolism dating back to the Middle Ages. Then, on the eve of Pentecost, a youth would prepare to become a knight through a night-long vigil. He wore white silk robes decorated with precious metals, a red hood and mantle, and a great celebratory feast was held the following morning.
While we may not have issued you with white robes, and the refreshments you will be offered after today’s ceremony will be much more modest, today’s investiture should nevertheless be a source of great pride both for the recipients and for their families and friends.
That pride is justified because the Australian Honours system is respected throughout the world for its integrity and independence, and our honours and awards are unique in that recipients are nominated by the community – anyone can nominate a fellow Australian citizen for an honour.
Recipients rarely know who nominated them or who has been approached to provide a reference, and that is what makes receiving such recognition feel particularly special. Unlike other awards which mark a particular personal achievement, the Australian Honours System recognises and thanks people who, in the view of the community – their fellow Australians, have made a difference through their commitment to service to the nation, and to the greater good.
I thank the recipients honoured today for their contribution to their State, and indeed their nation, and look forward to seeing them wear their medals and decorations with pride. Each of you has been identified by your community as a role model, as someone whose example we can all aspire to, reinforcing the ideals and standards which we, as a nation, respect and which help define us.