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Australia Day Honours for community members across the nation

Hard working Australians from all walks of life have been recognised in the 2024 Australia Day Honours. From doctors to television presenters, academics, former politicians and charity workers.

The Governor-General David Hurley today announced Honours and Awards for 1,042 Australians, including awards in the Order of Australia (General and Military Divisions), meritorious awards and recognition for distinguished and conspicuous service.

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Congratulations to the outstanding Australians recognised in today’s Honours List. Recipients have made a difference and had an impact at the local, national and/or international level. Individually, they are inspiring and collectively they speak to the strength of our communities,” the Governor-General said.

“Recipients come from all parts of the country.  They have served and had an impact in just about every field you can imagine; their stories and backgrounds are diverse. We value their service, thank them for their hard work and selflessness and, today, celebrate them.

“To each recipient: know that you have the thanks and respect of your nation. In my experience most are humble and often try to deflect attention or praise – please enjoy the moment because your country has decided that you deserve recognition.”

Four people have been given the nation’s highest honour the Companion of the Order of Australia, and their all from academia.

Among them former Curtin University Vice-Chancellor Deborah Terry. Professor Terry headed Curtin University from 2014 until 2020. She is now the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Queensland.

The other recipients of the Companion of the Order of Australia are Emeritus Professor David Bolger from the University of Melbourne, an engineering specialist, Chancellor of the University of Sydney Catherine Livingstone, and criminologist Professor Lorraine Mazerolle from the University of Queensland.

Former Tasmanian premier Lara Giddings has been made an Officer of the Order of Australia, as has controversial acclaimed photographer Bill Henson – who is recognised for his visual work and promotion of Australian culture.

Western Australia’s Professor Fiona Wood has also been included for her distinguished work as a researcher, clinician, scientist and mentor.

Speaking to OUTinPerth Professor Wood said she wanted to thank the many people she works alongside.

“I am absolutely honoured with the recognition involved in this prestigious award. With it comes the responsibility to continue to drive forward our work caring for those surviving burn injury.” Professor Wood said.

“I would like to thank the team at the Burns Service of Western Australia, with the support of SMHS, CAHS, and the Department of Health, the Burn Injury Research Unit at the University of Western Australia, AvitaMedical and the many collaborators locally and globally. I would also like to thank the Fiona Wood Foundation and all those who support the work.” Professor Wood said.

There’s also a posthumous award for Father Bob Maguire for his service to the community, particularly through his work in social welfare. While John McKechnie, the former judge who serves as the head of Western Australia’s Corruption and Crime Commission is also honoured.

Richard Mills, the former Artistic Director of the West Australian Opera, who now heads the Victoria Opera can add AO after his name too.

Producer, Director and Arts Manager Healther Croall has been made a Member of the Order of Australia, recognised for her significant service to the performing arts, as an administrator, advocate and film maker.

In her impressive career Croall has worked at the South Australian Film Corporation, been the CEO of the Australian International Documentary Conference, as well as CEO of the prestigious Shefield DocFest. She is currently the Festival Director and CEO of the Adelaide Fringe.

Former WA state politician Judy Edwards is also receiving the same awards for her significant service to the people of Western Australia.  Edwards was the member for Maylands from 1990 until 2008. During her time in parliament, she served as a minister, holding the portfolios of environment and science, heritage, and water resources.

Former WA Arts and Tourism Minister Sheila McHale is also an award winner.

Musician John Foreman, who spent many years playing his piano on Bert Newton’s Good Morning Australia, is also recognised for his service to the performing arts and the community.

Robert French, a greatly respected member of Australia’s LGBTIQA+ community is recognised for his service to the LGBTIQA+ community, alongside his work as a historian. French is a ’78er who marched in the first Mardi Gras parade, and a former chair of the Sydney Star Observer.

He’s volunteered at a wide range of organisations including NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby, AIDS Council of NSW, Pride History Group, and pioneering rights group C.A.M.P – the Campaign Against Moral Persecution.

Television presenter David Koch, who retired from hosting Channel Seven’s Sunrise program last year is awarded for his work as a television presenter and his contributions to economic journalism.

Channel Ten’s newsreader Sandra Sully is also recognised for her television and charity work. Sully has volunteered time at Hockey Australia, while also serving as an ambassador for many charities.

Professor Julian Gold, the founding director of The Albion Centre is awarded for his service to medicine as a clinical epidemiologist and researcher. Professor Gold has made significant contributions to the treatment of people living with HIV.

Cricket player and administrator Christinas Matthews who recently announced she was stepping down from her leadership role at Cricket Western Australia has also been honoured.

Western Australia’s Fiona Campbell has been given the Medal of the Order Australia for her service to the performing arts through music. Campbell is currently the Creative Director of the Perth Symphony Orchestra and has had a distinguished career that has traversed the worlds of opera and cabaret.

“I’m so delighted to be recognised for a lifetime of contributing to the arts and consider it a great honour to serve my community in this way.” Campbell told OUTinPerth.

“I think this award recognises that music and the performing arts is an integral part of what it is to be human, it contributes to our quality of life, breaks barriers and creates connections. ‘Music for Everyone’ continues to be my life mission.”

Also getting the Order of Australia Medal is Melbourne’s Colin Krycer who is recognised for his service to the LGBTIQA+ communities. A long serving announcer on JOY 94.9 FM, he’s also the co-Convener of Aleph Melbourne, a volunteer at Thorne Harbour Health and a former board member at the Pride Foundation.

HIV researcher Professor Michelle Giles is also an awardee, as is Dr Tamara Kwarteng who has also worked to battle HIV in her career.

Anyone can nominate any Australian for an award in the Order of Australia. If you know someone worthy, nominate them now at gg.gov.au.

Image of Fiona Campbell by Steve Godbee Photography. 

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