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The Governor of Victoria's speech for the Royal Humane Society of Australasia Bravery Awards 2018.


Professor John H. Maynard, President, The Royal Humane Society of Australasia Inc. (RHSA)
Directors of the Royal Humane Society of Victoria
Distinguished guests

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 morning.

Tony and I are pleased to welcome you to Government House today for the Royal Humane Society of Australasia Bravery Awards.

As Patron of the Society, I am particularly proud to have the opportunity to express the depth of our gratitude, and to say a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to those who have risked their own lives to save, or attempt to save, the lives of others.

Today we have heard of rescues and attempted rescues in the course of serious attacks, car accidents, attempted suicides and perils in the water, in burning houses and on train tracks.

In each instance, you leapt into action without thought for yourself. You certainly did not have an eye on an award for your selfless assistance.

But these awards are important.

They enable your community to thank you. They also provide a way for those who were the subject of your kind and selfless intervention to formally acknowledge what you did.  Some of them are here today for that very purpose. And it is important that your bravery is validated, even when, despite your every effort, tragically a life could not be saved.

You join those who the Royal Humane Society has recognised since 1874. Ordinary people who, when faced with an emergency, have acted in heroic ways.

I know that such courageous acts will continue, because we are fortunate to live in a fundamentally kind and caring community.

The goodness that we see in these awards is reflected in the goodness that Tony and I see daily in every corner of our State. It is the true definition of who we are as Victorians. Your courage and generosity though, places you very much at the vanguard of that definition.

I am conscious that everyone responds differently to trauma. For some of you, having stepped in bravely on the spur of the moment to a dangerous event, the impact may have  caught up with you later.  Please know that your community cares about you. And offers you not only gratitude, but also support.

I thank the Royal Humane Society of Australasia for its dedicated work in administering these awards, for assessing the nominations and ensuring that this important recognition can be given.

And again, on behalf of the people of Victoria, I thank and acknowledge those in this room who have been duly recognised for their bravery.

Tony and I are looking forward to meeting you more informally, shortly.