Feature Image

Speech by the Governor at the Investiture for the Admission and Promotion of Members of the Order of St John


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 this evening.

I am pleased to welcome you to Government House to celebrate this Investiture for the Admission and Promotion of members of the Order of St John.

I have hosted this ceremony here at Government House each year across the four years that I have been in this role. There is something that I reflect upon each time.

It is that, although your history can be traced back more than 900 years, you have so successfully managed to ensure that your good work remains as relevant today as it was all those centuries ago. 

In one sense that is not surprising. For you, ‘the service of humanity’ has always been front and centre. And so long as that is the focus, the community’s needs certainly transcend eras, even if the context and solutions change.

The service of humanity is forever a contemporary need.

And so your motto ‘For the Faith and in the Service of Humanity’ continues to resonate.

Indeed, although those who serve this Order may do so motivated by their faith, they render their good works blind to the faith of those they assist.

We are all the beneficiaries of your  service. Whether or not we have been saved or cared for by you in a public setting, transported by you in an emergency situation, taught First Aid by you or helped by you in the myriad of other ways in which you help, you make our community a safer and a more compassionate place.

I know the extraordinary contributions of your volunteers. More than 2200 kind and generous-spirited people who give more than 300,000 hours every year in the service of others.

This evening though is specifically about the postulants. Each one of you is recognised for your outstanding service and dedication.

It is hard to calculate the many years of your collective service. Mr Brian Cantlon alone – promoted this evening to be a Knight of Grace – has contributed across 70 years!

Between you all, you have supported the St John Museum, cared for members’ records, supported the youth within your organisation, applied your skills to training and testing, been donors, overseen new technologies and e-learning and been long-term supporters of event and emergency management.

I warmly congratulate each one of you upon your award.

What you do matters. Each person to whom care is extended, or whose care is improved, as a result of whatever form your contribution takes, is someone’s child, parent, partner, sibling, family member or friend. 

That is why we thank you.