Stuart and I arrived back from our Festival of Fifty celebrations (you can read more about those here!) just in time for possibly one of the greatest ‘pinch me’ moments I have ever experienced, being awarded with a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) honour.
The announcement had been made back in June, but the investiture ceremony at Government House is held in October. Stuart and I had landed back in Brisbane at 5am that morning and by 1pm I was standing at Government House having a medal pinned on with Stuart and the kids watching on, which was very surreal.
I was sitting there hearing the words read out about each of the recipients present from the ceremony and couldn’t believe that I was in their company – definitely a time when major imposter syndrome feelings were taking hold.
Then something happened that changed that and let me own the moment. The gentleman sitting next to me, who was receiving his own award for an extraordinary list of achievements and accomplishments leaned over and whispered to me ‘thank you so much for everything that you and everyone at Icon Group do, my wife wouldn’t be alive without the wonderful treatment and care she has received in your centres’.
It put into perspective for me that what Stuart and I have worked so hard on for so many years, alongside so many other incredibly talented and committed people, truly impacts the lives of so many people, and that I was worthy of the recognition being bestowed.
I sat a little taller, enjoyed the honour for what it was, and felt an immense privilege to be in the company of so many wonderful fellow honourees who had all created such positive impacts on their communities.
My only regret was that Stuart wasn’t sitting beside me receiving his own award, as we’ve done everything together and it’s truly been a shared journey and impact creation, but you have no control over the nomination process. I found out after I received the award who it was who had nominated me and was able to personally thank her, which was very special.
All in all, it was a wonderful moment for our family, and definitely a fantastic way to kick off the next half century!