Order of St John Investiture
Chancellor of the Australian Priory of The Order of St John, Mr Cameron Oxley; St John Ambulance Queensland Board Chair, Reverend Dr Peter Devenish-Meares and fellow Directors; CEO, Major General Stephen Porter AO and State Chaplain, Father Harry Reuss; St John Ambulance Australia CEO, Mr Brendan Maher; members of the Order of St John; postulants; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen.
I begin by acknowledging the original custodians of the lands around Brisbane, the Turrbal and Jagera people, and extend my respectful greetings to Elders, past, present and emerging.
It is my great pleasure as the representative of Queensland’s Head of State, His Majesty King Charles the Third, and as the newly invested Deputy Prior of the Order of St John, to welcome recipients, their families, friends and colleagues to Government House for this solemn ceremony.
I am honoured to have been admitted to the Order today in the grade of Dame of Grace, and to the role of Deputy Prior of the Priory of Australia for Queensland.
It has been moving and very humbling to kneel and receive the insignia of the grade of Dame from the Chancellor, to be welcomed as a confrere, and to be cloaked in this mantle as a symbol of the pledge I have just made.
In my role as Deputy Prior, I will soon have the privilege of conferring the honour of Knight of Grace on Professor Peter Leggat as well as admitting five new postulants from St John Ambulance Queensland as Members of the Order, and presenting two outstanding Members with bars to their Ultra Long Service Medals.
I take this opportunity to extend my personal congratulations to you all and, as both Governor of Queensland and Deputy Prior, to thank you for your exceptional dedication to the mission and values of the Order.
There is a particularly close association between the Order of St John and the State of Queensland because the symbol of both is the ancient Maltese Cross. For both the Order and our State, the cross represents prudence, temperance, justice and fortitude, and stands as a constant reminder of the importance of those cardinal virtues.
For me, it also has a deeper personal significance because, in the same way as the Hippocratic Oath guided me in my career as a doctor and health administrator, the pledge I have just made as a new postulant similarly commits me, as both Dame of Grace and Deputy Prior, to caring for others.
I chose this focus on care as a key priority when I was sworn in as Queensland’s 27th Governor almost a year ago because I saw my appointment as a unique opportunity to actively encourage a healthy and active Queensland.
Today’s investiture as a Dame of Grace and Deputy Prior only strengthens that focus and deepens my commitment to that goal.
In honour of that commitment, I am now pleased to invite forward St John Ambulance Queensland Board Chair, Reverend Dr Peter Devenish-Meares, to accept this Certificate of Patronage.