News Actors, advocates and athletes celebrated in 2022 Australia Day Honours
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Actors, advocates and athletes celebrated in 2022 Australia Day Honours

Australia Day
This year's honours celebrate 732 outstanding Australians. Photo: TND
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The Australia Day 2022 Honours list recognises 732 Australians of all ages, from all walks of life, who have achieved just about everything you can think of.

This year, that includes epidemiologists, academics, community leaders, advocates, actors, athletes and more.

Women were recognised with 346 honours this year, which equates to 47 per cent of the general division. That’s the highest percentage of female recipients since the Australian honours system was introduced in 1975.

Here are just a handful of the recipients being celebrated.

Everyday heroes

Professor Helen Marshall, one of the country’s most celebrated vaccination researchers, has been appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM).

Professor Marshall specialises in vaccinology, public health and infectious diseases at the University of Adelaide’s Robinson Research Institute.

Professor Helen Marshall. Photo: Australian of the Year awards

While her research focuses on the fight against meningococcal B in young adults, Professor Marshall has also provided advice on COVID-19 to the South Australian Minister for Health and the Chief Public Health Officer.

She joins fellow recipient Professor Emeritus Les Irwig, professor of epidemiology at the University of Sydney School of Medicine.

His large body of research includes conducting epidemiological studies to generate evidence that can help clinical and public health decision-making.

Professor Eleanor Bourke has also been appointed a Member of the Order for her service to Indigenous justice and education.

The Wergaia/Wamba Wamba elder is the chairperson of the Yoo-rrook Justice Commission, Australia’s first inquiry into injustices committed against Indigenous people.

Part of the justice commission’s work includes establishing an official record of the effects of colonisation on First Nations people in Victoria using First Peoples’ stories. 

“That is a once in a lifetime opportunity to put their story on the record and have their voice heard,” Professor Bourke said. 

Dr Alan Finkel, AO, has been appointed the country’s highest civilian honour. 

The Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) was awarded to Dr Finkel for his service to science, particularly climate change and COVID-19 response initiatives. 

The neuroscientist, engineer and entrepreneur served as Australia’s Chief Scientist from 2016 to 2020.

Last year, he became a special advisor to the Australian Government for Low Emissions Technology.

Big names

A slew of big names made the honours list this year, from beloved celebrity chefs to veteran stars.

National treasure Maggie Beer, AM, whose infectious smile has lit up our screens for years, is an Officer of the Order (AO) recipient for her tremendous work in the tourism and hospitality industries. 

 

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A post shared by Official Maggie Beer (@maggie_beer)

The celebrity chef, author, restaurateur and food manufacturer is also a judge on The Great Australian Bake Off and a regular guest judge on MasterChef. 

Since early 2020, Beer has streamed cooking classes on her social media platforms, dubbed #cookingwithmaggie.

Budding chefs are taught simple and affordable dishes using everyday ingredients from the pantry … and some verjuice, because we know how much Beer loves the stuff.

Fellow Officer of the Order recipient Deborra-lee Furness, 66, received the honour for her efforts as an adoption advocate and service to the arts.

Furness, who is married to actor Hugh Jackman, founded the not-for-profit organisation Adopt Change in 2008.

Last November, during National Adoption and Permanency Awareness Month, Furness launched a campaign called Yesvember to encourage people to help children in the foster care and adoption system.

“I’m saying everyone, no matter what your skillset, can donate their time. The Zumba teacher can give a Zumba class, an art teacher can do a lesson and a meditation teacher take a breathing session,” Furness told Nine Honey. 

“I’m in the arts. I know how healing the arts are. So, I’m saying everyone can donate.”

 

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Delta Goodrem has been appointed a Member of the Order (AM) for her service to the not-for-profit sector and performing arts.

The Australian music icon founded the Delta Goodrem Foundation in 2020, which strives to spread kindness and support for those facing illness.

Goodrem, 37, is also an ambassador for the Starlight Children’s Foundation and a supporter of the Make A Wish foundation.

She released her latest album Bridge Over Troubled Dreams last year.

Arts aside, mining magnate Gina Rinehart was appointed an Officer of the Order (AO) for her service to the mining sector, to the community through philanthropic initiatives and to sport as a patron.

Olympic glory

This year’s honours shone a light on the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games, with 36 gold medallists honoured.

That of course includes 2022 Australian of the Year Dylan Alcott, who was also appointed Officer of the Order (AO) for his service to paralympic sport, tennis and for being an excellent role model.

On Tuesday, Alcott qualified for his eighth straight Australian Open final.

Thursday’s final will be Alcott’s last professional tennis match, having announced his retirement.

Two-time gold medalist swimmer Ariarne Titmus, AKA ‘The Terminator’, and slalom canoeist Jessica Fox were both honoured with a Medal of the Order (OAM).

Swimmer Rowan Crothers and wheelchair racer Madison de Rozario also received the same awards for their gold medal wins at the Paralympic Games. 

Basketball star Patty Mills was appointed a Member of the Order (AM) for his significant contributions to the sport and the Indigenous community.

Mills, 33, is the captain of the Australian Boomers and plays for the Brooklyn Nets in the NBA.

 

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In Tokyo, Mills became the first Indigenous Australian to carry the flag into an Olympic Games when he joined the parade alongside fellow flag-bearer and swimming champion Cate Campbell.