The Queen’s Birthday 2020 Honours List has been revealed and 933 Australians have been awarded for their contributions to the country.
The Governor-General, the Queen’s representative in Australia, said: “This list recognises a group of outstanding Australians who have made a contribution to their community, to Australia globally or domestically.”
Citizens can either be awarded a Medal, Member, Officer, or Companion of the Order of Australia, and there is a military category as well.
A Companion of the Order of Australia is the highest award a civilian can receive. Recipients tend to add the honorific AC, AO, AM, or AOM suffix to their titles.
Companion of the Order of Australia
Former prime minister Tony Abbott was awarded a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) award for his services to the people. He was acknowledged for his contributions as prime minister.
University of Sydney chancellor Belinda Hutchinson joined Abbot receiving an AC for her eminent service to business and scientific research. Businesswoman Naomi Milgrom completed the trio of AC awards, for her philanthropic leadership.
Officer of the Order of Australia
ABC Pacific Correspondent Sean Dorney was among the 50 recipients of an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO), The Australian reported on June 8.
Dorney was recognised for his distinguished service as a foreign correspondent to Papua New Guinea (PNG), where he lived and worked for 20 years. In an interview with The Australian Dorney said he was concerned about the lack of media coverage on PNG.
“Very little attention is being paid while all this time it is an increasingly important area to China. China is placing a lot of emphasis on PNG and the Pacific,” he said.
Former politician Bronwyn Bishop and 43-year parliamentary veteran Philip Ruddock have also been appointed Officers of the Order of Australia, along with Graham Richardson, Ron Boswell, Mike Baird, and Dennis Napthine.
Indigenous academic Professor Marcia Langton who is associate provost at The University of Melbourne was also awarded an Officer of the Order of Australia for her contributions to Indigenous academia.
Member of the Order of Australia
Journalist Mike Carlton also became a Member of the Order of Australia (AM). The 40-year media veteran took to Twitter to share his appreciation for the award.
“Sincere thanks to those kind people who sent their congratulations on my gong. It was a true and humbling delight to hear from so many friends and colleagues. But even more so from people I’ve met here only on Twitter, or not at all,” Carlton wrote.
Victorian and Grains of Australia Chair Andrew Weidemann has been appointed an AM for his significant service to primary industry, particularly to the grain-producing sector.
He was among the signatories in a joint response to the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) barley tariff, which many believe was a retaliatory action after Australia called for an inquiry in the origins of the CCP virus, commonly known as novel coronavirus.
Medal of the Order of Australia
Mango industry pioneer Ken Rayner was among 457 people receiving the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM). It meant a lot to the octogenarian who has a framed portrait of Queen Elizabeth II in his dusty corrugated iron shed.
South Australian Vincent Namatjira collected a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his service to Indigenous visual art. He was among 58 artists honored for their contributions to the art community. Vincent Namatjira is the great-grandson of famous watercolor artist Albert Namatjira.
Australians from varying professions were included in the Queen’s Birthday Awards. The full list can be viewed here.
All those recognized on the Queen’s Birthday honour list are from peer nominations which are independently assessed by the Council of the Order of Australia before being awarded.
Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth has no direct involvement in the process.