Queen’s Birthday Honours acknowledge hard working Australians

Over a thousand Australians have been named in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, acknowledging their hard work in the chosen fields and contributions to the wider community.

The list contains a mix of famous faces, alongside everyday Australians, and many local heroes.

All together 1,190 people received awards, and the list includes the highest number of women being awards, Forty four per cent of the recipients are female.

Announcing the list, the Governor-General David Hurley said this year’s awards was filled with diversity.

“On behalf of all Australians, congratulations to all recipients. Each of these individuals are unique and their story deserves to be shared widely and celebrated.

“Collectively, they speak to who we are as a nation. There are countless examples of selflessness, commitment and dedication. There is diversity and there are examples of exceptional achievement in almost every field imaginable.

The Governor-General noted that more representatives from indigenous and multi-cultural communities were being recognised by the awards system, but there was still a lot of work to be done to ensure the achievements and contributions all Australians were represented.

“It is important that the Order of Australia represents the diversity and strength of Australia – for this to happen we need to ensure outstanding women, members of our multicultural community and First Nations people are nominated by their peers in the community.

“I am prioritising increasing awareness of and engagement with the Order of Australia amongst groups that have been historically underrepresented. We are seeing positive progress and I am determined that it continues.” the Governor-General said.

In the highest division of the awards, the Companion of the Order of Australia, David McAllister the former Artistic Director and Principal Dancer of the Australian Ballet. He was previously named a Member of the Order of Australia for his services to ballet in 2004.

Originally from Perth, McAllister now lives in Sydney with his partner, playwright and festival director, Wesley Enoch.

“Sometimes in Australia we think of the arts as something that’s sort of fluffy and on the side, but it’s really fundamental to our cultural life,” McAllister said, speaking to The Herald Sun.

McAllister is just one of five people given the nation’s top honour, the other honourees are DFAT Secretary Frances Adamson, Federal Circuit Court Judge Barbara Baker, geophysicist Emeritus Professor Kurt Lambeck and the Anglican Archbishop of Brisbane, Dr Phillip Aspinall.

Former political staffer Peta Credlin has been made an Officer in the General Division of the awards, recognised for her distinguished service to parliament and politics, to policy development, and to the executive function of government.

Credlin served as the Chief of Staff to Prime Minister Tony Abbott, as well as working for former Liberal party leaders Malcolm Turnbull and Brendan Nelson.

Also in the Officer division is Western Australian businessman Warwick Hemsley, the current chairman of the Art Gallery of Western Australia. Hemsley has previous served on the board of the WA Chamber of Arts and Culture, WA Opera and many other cultural organisations.

Former Victorian Police Commissioner Christine Nixon is another well known face on the list, as is academic Baden Offord who previously headed up the Human Rights Centre at Curtin University.

Constitutional law expert Professor Anne Twomey has been recognised for her contributions to the law, to legal education, and to public education on constitutional matters.

Fringe World founder Marcus Canning can add the letter AM after his name, included in the Member in the General Division, Canning is For significant service to the arts, and to the community of Perth.

Caning served as the CEO of Artrage for 17 years before becoming Director of The Rechabite in 2019.

During his time at Artrage the non-profit arts organisation launched many new initiatives including the annual Fringe World Festival, the Girls School Creative precinct, Rooftop Movies and the Old Girls School Cinema.  Canning is also the creator of Fremantle’s iconic shipping container sculpture.

Marion Fulker, CEO of the Committee for Perth is recognised for significant service to urban planning and infrastructure development.

In the medical field, Associate Professor Edwina Wight was awarded for her significant service to medicine and research, notably for people living with HIV/AIDS. Professor Wright has been a Senior Specialist in the Department of Infectious Diseases at Melbourne’s Alfred Hospital since 1996, and is the co-head of the HIV Elimination Program at the Burney Institute.

Western Australian musician Gina Williams has been recognised for service to the performing arts, to Indigenous music, and to media. Through her performances alongside Guy Ghouse, Williams has shared local Noongar culture and language with many audiences.

Since 2009, her song welcome song Wanjoo has been taught at over 500 school workshops and has been shared over 750,000 times. Alongside her work as a performer Williams was also instrumental in the setting up of community radio station Noongar Radio and has served on many boards and panels within the arts industry.

Speaking to OUTinPerth after the awards were publicly announced Williams said it felt like quite a “Cinderella moment.”

“It feels humbling, I’m the Noongar foster kid who can’t read music who gets to do what she loves with her best friend. That’s a reward in itself. This feels like a whole next level Cinderella moment.” Williams said.

Television personality Mark Beretta has been included in Medal in the General Division (OAM), his citation notes his services to the community through charity organisations. Also from the media realm, Channel Ten’s entertainment reporter Angela Bishop has been recognised.

Henry Boston, who is a former General Manager of the Festival of Perth, and was previously Executive Director of the Western Australian Chamber of Culture and the Arts is also named.

Academic, radio presenter and LGBTI rights advocate Misty Farquhar is also included for services to the LGBTQI community. Among their many achievements is being a founding member of local rights group Rainbow Futures, an Oceania board member of International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, and the founder of support group Bi Community Perth.

Farquar told OUTinPerth they were “blown away and so so grateful.” to be a recipient  “People like me don’t usually get these types of honours? I hope that it’s helpful in pushing forward the work I’ve been involved in with so many incredible people so far.” they said.

Victoria Janet Jukes has also been awarded for contributions to the LGBTI community, particularly in the area of advocacy and social welfare organisations. Jukes is the President of Thorne Harbour Health, the Victorian AIDS Council, and a member of the LGBTI Taskforce within the Department of Premier and the Cabinet. Jukes has history of supporting disadvantaged people both professionally and in a volunteer capacity.

Another Victorian named in the awards is Dr Elizabeth Crock, who has been recognised for significant service to nursing, particularly to people living with HIV/AIDS. Dr Crock has served on the board of the Australian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, and Sexual Health Medicine (ASHM), and is the current President of the Australian and New Zealand Association for Nurses in AIDS Care (ANZANAC), she has been a board member of the organisation since 1995.

Actor Chris Hemsworth was also named in the General Division for significant services to the performing arts and charitable organisations.

OIP Staff

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