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Introduction

Speech given by the Governor for the Australia Day 2021 Honours Investiture Ceremonies

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First, I acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land upon which we are gathering and pay my respects to their Elders past and present and to any Elders here with us.

Tony and I welcome each one of you to Government House Victoria, to this ceremony in which I have had the privilege to invest some of our finest Victorians with their Australian Honours.

In some ways, the Investiture Ceremony today has been a little different from those seen in this magnificent Ballroom across many years. Circumstances have dictated that we gather on a slightly more intimate scale than in the past, and that your close family, friends or colleagues have assisted by pinning the medals on my behalf.

What is completely unchanged, however, is the feeling of delight shared by all of us at Government House as we embrace the opportunity to say ‘Thank you’ to each one of our recipients.

There are other things that I know have not changed at all.

Experience tells me that each one of you, our recipients, will be tempted to shift much of the praise and attention to those around you – to those who have supported you in your private or your professional lives.

I have no doubt that many people have indeed helped you in your outstanding achievements.

Today, however, is about you.

I urge you to take at least this brief period, while you are joining us here, to bask in the knowledge that you have gone above and beyond for your country.

We are focused on you, not to embarrass or humble you in any way. We simply want to highlight how, whether you have performed on the global or the more local stage, your leadership has helped to make our nation – and our State – stronger and better.

Many years ago, speaking to a group of civic leaders, His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh, whose life we especially celebrate right now as we reflect upon his passing, spoke specifically of leadership.

Describing that in every kind of human activity, there are those who lead and there are those who follow, HRH spoke of the importance of making the utmost of opportunities for contribution.

Each one of you has done just that. You have made the utmost of your opportunities. You have certainly contributed.

And you have set an example by your leadership.

It is with that in mind, that I ask you to wear your pins. Daily. With pride.

Your pins or, on more formal occasions, your medals, will often start conversations that will inspire others to follow your example. It is also a way to encourage them to nominate those who, like you, have contributed their talents and skills to the greater good.

This past year has seen difficult and painful times for the world. I am confident that here in our State, all that made Victoria flourish before the global pandemic will help it to prosper again, as we undertake the recovery process.

I know that your contributions have been a part of our successes. I know too that your continuing leadership has never been more important: to ensure that we meet our challenges and that, in the words of our State motto, Victorians can continue to live in Peace and Prosperity.

We thank you. We congratulate you on your well-deserved recognition and we hope you enjoy your time with us at Government House today.