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Introduction

The Governor of Victoria's speech for the Order of Australia Bravery Awards.

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Mr Frank McGuire MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Medical Research, Small Business and Innovation, Representing the Premier
The Hon. Gordon Rich-Phillips MLC, Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Representing the Leader of the Opposition
Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton AM APM, Victoria Police
Mr Andrew Crisp, Emergency Management Commissioner
Mrs Coralee Lever, National Vice-President, Australian Bravery Association of Victoria and Tasmania
Distinguished guests
Award recipients
Ladies and gentlemen

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 today.

Tony and I are delighted to welcome you all to Government House for the Investiture of the Order of Australia Bravery Awards.

These Awards have been given for the more than 40 years since the Australian honours system was created in 1975.

They are our nation’s pre-eminent awards for the recognition of acts of bravery, by people whose selfless actions put them in jeopardy, to protect the lives or property of others.

Each one of you, our recipients today, was motivated by nothing but a pure desire to help someone in need. You did not think of your own well-being. You certainly did not think of any recognition or award.

But it is important that we do recognise your bravery.

Your actions help us all to stand a little taller, and to feel a little stronger. Your actions help make ours the community that we want it to be.

I am conscious that the rigours and suffering from an act of bravery can stay well after the intensity of the incident itself.

As we have heard, for some of you, despite your every courageous effort, a life could not be saved.

For others, the person to whose aid you came was someone known to, or dearly loved by you.

For one, you have today stood proudly to receive a posthumous award on behalf of your brave but much missed love one.

For all of you, you have seen and experienced trauma up close, and dealing with that is often a continuing process, and one for which you must be supported.

And so, we are mindful today that this is an occasion of celebration, but also one to recognise the swell of mixed emotions in the room.

When it comes to such emotions, I am aware that some of those who were the beneficiaries of your courageous actions have also joined us today. In some instances, it may be difficult for them as well, to hear the citations read, and to remember such a difficult time.

I must say that it is a sign of their gratitude – as well as their own generosity and courage – that they have put their feelings aside in order to honour the recipient. Thank you.

Finally, it is a great privilege for me to be the one, on behalf of all Victorians, to commend all the award recipients and to sincerely thank you.

Tony and I wish you all the best in your future endeavours, look forward to talking with you after the ceremony, and ask that you please to try to relax and enjoy your time here with us at Government House.