What could bring together a Norse god, an archbishop and a diplomat?
The Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
Actor Chris Hemsworth, Anglican Archbishop Phillip Aspinall and retiring foreign affairs department boss Frances Adamson are among the 1190 Australians honoured in the list released late on Sunday.
Ms Adamson, who is South Australia’s incoming governor, and Archbishop Aspinall were two of five people announced as recipients of the highest honour, appointed Companions (AC) in the general division of the Order of Australia.
The other three are Tasmania’s governor-designate Barbara Baker, scientist Professor Kurt Lambeck and Australian Ballet director David McAllister.
Judge Baker has been a passionate advocate for gender equality and tackling family violence issues, as well as being a role model for young lawyers.
Professor Lambeck’s work formed the basis for GPS-based systems used in agriculture, mineral exploration and smartphone navigation.
Melbourne-born Hemsworth made his Hollywood debut in 2009’s Star Trek, but is best known for playing the Marvel hero Thor.
For much of the COVID-19 lockdown the 37-year-old has been living near Byron Bay and he recently told a US chat show of a new-found past time.
“I really like mowing the lawn. There’s something therapeutic about it.”
Hemsworth has previously been a Tourism Australia ambassador, championing the benefits of visiting Down Under.
His honours citation notes that he is recognised “for significant service to the performing arts, and to charitable organisations”.
“Collectively, they speak to who we are as a nation,” Governor-General David Hurley said of those honoured.
“There are countless examples of selflessness, commitment and dedication. There is diversity and there are examples of exceptional achievement in almost every field imaginable.”
This year’s honours list has set a record for the proportion of female nominees (44 per cent).
“It is important that the Order of Australia represents the diversity and strength of Australia,” Mr Hurley said.
“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.
“We are seeing positive progress and I am determined that it continues.”
Of those receiving honours, 63 have been recognised for their contribution in support of Australia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and will be part of a permanent COVID-19 honour roll.
Dr Rob Gordon was awarded an OAM for his work as a clinical psychologist specialising in disaster recovery.
Among the sportspeople to be recognised are AFL great Michael Long, Canberra Raiders coach and former player Ricky Stuart and fellow league legend Glenn Lazarus.
Political honourees are former prime ministerial adviser Peta Credlin, ex-NSW Liberal leader Kerry Chikarovski and former Victorian deputy premier Rob Hulls.