Paralympian Kurt Fearnley, author Kate Grenville and comedian Tom Gleisner are among the 1007 Australians on this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
The list, announced on Monday by Governor-General Peter Cosgrove, sees swimming legend Dawn Fraser become a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC, the highest honour) adding to gold medals in the 100m freestyle at the 1956, 1960 and 1964 Olympics.
Farmers, bakers, social workers and volunteers have also been formally recognised for their achievements and community service.
Former senator Christine Milne is on the list for her contribution to politics and the environment. Rock historian Glenn A. Baker and musician Brian Cadd can add the AO to their names for services to entertainment.
Gleisner, host of Ten’s Have You Been Paying Attention, has scored an AO for “distinguished service to the media and television industries as a writer, producer, actor and presenter, to children living with cancer, and as a supporter of young people with autism spectrum disorders”.
Triple Brownlow medallist Bobby Skilton, who turns 80 this year, said his Medal of the Order of Australia for service to Australian Rules football is a welcome surprise.
“I’m proud that some people think I’ve done reasonably well and that I’ve been good for the game,” he said.
Husband-and-wife ‘whale whisperers’ Curt and Micheline-Nicole Jenner become Members of the Order of Australia for research into populations off the West Australian coast that has reshaped conservation efforts.
“We’re thrilled, honoured and delighted. This means a huge amount to us, because it means whales are important to the public”, they told The New Daily.
Film editor Jill Bilcock (Strictly Ballroom, Moulin Rouge and Red Dog), becomes a Commander of the Order of Australia, as does trailblazing chemical engineering researcher and academic, Indonesian-born Professor Rose Amal.
Fashion designer Jenny Kee becomes an Officer of the Order of Australia. “It’s one of the great honours for your country to recognise you” she told The New Daily.
“I feel very humbled. I have always looked to Australia as my source of inspiration.
“I’m the girl who put a koala on the jumper … and I’m not blonde-haired and blue eyed”.
Guitarist Phil Emmanuel, who died suddenly in May aged 65, has been posthumously awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia. He was recognised for service to the performing arts.
Melbourne broadcaster Philip Brady, 78, whose long on-air career started on Channel 9 in 1958 and continues on 3AW as host of Nightline, becomes a Member of the Order of Australia.
“I’m really chuffed although I’m not sure it’s deserving”, he said.
“I’m not really an entertainer: I don’t sing, I don’t dance, I don’t tell jokes. I think it’s a sympathy vote!”
The commendations include military and meritorious awards, as well as those in the General Division, which can be nominated by any Australian.
In welcoming the new arrivals to the Order of Australia, Governor-General Cosgrove praised their compassion, dedication, generosity and selflessness, urging us to be inspired and motivated by their “energetic ambition”.
“On behalf of all Australians, I thank them for their contributions. We are a stronger, safer and more caring nation because of them,” he said.
This year’s list shows a 15 per cent jump in female recipients compared with January’s Australia Day honour roll. Six out of the 10 recipients of the Companion of the Order of Australia are women, the first time men have been outnumbered at any level in an Australian honours list.
There were also more nominees in total – a rise of 71 per cent compared to last year.
A new electronic nomination form has streamlined the process, making it easier and quicker to nominate someone for an award.
Anyone can nominate any Australian for an award in the Order of Australia at gg.gov.au.