Speaking during a debate in the National Assembly on celebrating Welsh cultural identity, he outlined Welsh Government proposals to launch a new awards system to celebrate those who make a real difference to the quality of life in Wales.
Speaking in the Senedd, the First Minister said:
“I have often felt humbled by the extraordinary stories of individuals who work tirelessly, without publicity or self-interest, for the benefit of others and who genuinely make Wales a better place.
“In recent months I have been reconsidering our approach to recognising contributions to Welsh life. I can today announce that from 2014 I will be launching the St David Awards. These awards will present opportunity for nominations from a broad range of walks of life to be recognised.
“Work is currently being carried out by my officials to identify the appropriate sectors for recognition and the deliberation process for making the awards.
“A starting point will be ordinary people who do extraordinary things. I am not looking to recognise people who are simply doing their jobs – however worthwhile and important many jobs undoubtedly are. I am looking to recognise people who do more than they need to, and who really make a difference to the quality of life in Wales.
“I want to see a strong business component in the awards – the private sector is the lifeblood of our economy and I want to see that dimension properly recognised. I would also like to see recognition for individuals who contribute to raising Wales’ profile in the world – this, too, makes a powerful contribution to both our social and economic well-being."