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Record Numbers Honoured on Australia Day

27 January 2014 at 9:18 am
Lina Caneva
A record number of Australians have received Australia Day honours, many for services to the community, in a celebration that saw AFL football star and community leader Adam Goodes named Australian of the Year.

Lina Caneva | 27 January 2014 at 9:18 am


Record Numbers Honoured on Australia Day
27 January 2014 at 9:18 am
2014 Australia of the Year Adam Goodes. Photo: National Australia Day Council

A record number of Australians have received Australia Day honours, many for services to the community, in a celebration that saw AFL football star and community leader Adam Goodes named Australian of the Year.

In her final Australia Day honours list, Governor-General Quentin Bryce announced a record number of recipients with 683 people receiving awards, up from 571 last year and 439 in 2012.

From actors to activist, sport champions, medical specialists , community leaders and philanthropists – many recipients are high profile while others are largely unknown to the general community but were awarded for their tireless efforts.

One such recipient is Caroline Carroll, from child and family welfare Not for Profit Berry Street who received an an Order of Australia on Australia Day in recognition of years of service to Forgotten Australians.

“Caroline Carroll, herself a Forgotten Australian, was recognised for more than 10 years of advocacy on behalf of, and service to, this group when she receives an Order of Australia award on Australia Day, Sunday 26 January, “ Berry Street said in a statement

Forgotten Australians are those adults who as children were brought up in institutional or orphanage care in the 1930s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s and into the 1980s. The Senate Inquiry into the circumstances of this “care” estimated that there are 500,000 children who went through this system.

“Caroline was a significant campaigner for the Inquiry which provided a harrowing view of a ‘care’ system which, at best, was benignly neglectful of children and, at worst, perpetrated physical, sexual and emotional abuse on those in its ‘care’.

“Caroline was active in the planning and development of Berry Street’s Open Place service which commenced in 2010. Her vision, allied with drive and determination, that the new service should be accountable and responsive to the needs and aspirations of Forgotten Australians has been a significant factor in the development of the Open Place service model.

Carroll is currently the team leader of community education and the records program at Open Place. “She brings passion, experience and intelligence to the continuing struggle Forgotten Australians face in achieving recognition for past wrongs and for justice,” the organisation said.

Philanthropist Tim Fairfax, was recognised for service to business and to the community as an advocate for philanthropy and as a major supporter of the visual arts, to the promotion of higher education opportunities, and to rural and regional development programs.

Fourteen people were recognised for their work with refugees and asylum seekers in the 2014 Australia Day Honours List.

Refugee Council of Australia Chief Executive officer Paul Power said the honours were a well-deserved recognition of the efforts of the individuals honoured, and indicative of the extent of selfless community support for newly arrived refugees and people seeking asylum.

“While politicians and others argue publicly about aspects of refugee policy, thousands of Australians quietly work to welcome new arrivals and help them with learning English and the practical tasks of settling into a new society,” Power said.

“This work rarely comes to public attention but has been an important aspect of Australian life for many decades.”

Those honoured in the 2014 Australia Day Honours are people who have assisted the welcome of refugees and asylum seekers through the development of community settlement initiatives, English language programs, education, health, building understanding between communities, visiting asylum seekers in detention, promoting community awareness of refugee issues and supporting international aid projects.

Three people were made Members of the Order of Australia (AM) for their work with refugees:

·       Geoffrey McPherson AM, founding member and president of Canberra Refugee Support since 2001, who has been active in the development of scholarship and mentoring programs for refugees;

·       Adele Rice AM, founding principal of Milpera State High School (1984-2012), Brisbane’s specialist high school for English language preparation and settlement which pioneered on-site therapy programs for students of refugee background; and

·       Frederika Steen AM, a former Immigration Department official (1984-2000) who has served refugees and asylum seekers in a voluntary capacity through organisations including Brisbane’s Romero Centre, Multicultural Development Association and the Indo China Refugee Association.

Nine recipients of Order of Australia Medals (OAM) whose citations mentioned their work with refugee communities were:

·       Dr Ramzi Barnouti OAM, who has served as a board member of the Iraqi Australian Christian Association and a volunteer in Red Cross’ Migration Support Program in Sydney since 2006 and has developed a range of multicultural health initiatives;

·       Olga Horak OAM, a 2013 Refugee Week Ambassador, who was recognised for her work with B’nai B’rith, the Sydney Jewish Museum and the Australian Association of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Descendants;

·       Rupert Hudson OAM, a St Vincent de Paul Society member since 1957 and national president from 1986 to 1991, whose has been a visitor to Villawood Immigration Detention Centre since 1990.

·       John Ingram OAM, a retired naval officer who has been involved in the support of refugees since 1978 and played a leading role in HMAS Melbourne’s rescue and support of 99 Vietnamese refugees in the South China Sea in June 1981;

·       Associate Professor Marie Joyce OAM, a Melbourne psychologist whose work has included being co-founder and secretary of the Refugee Tertiary Education Committee since 2000;

·       Carmen Lazar OAM, the Community Settlement Officer at the Australian Assyrian Resource Centre in Sydney, who has served the Assyrian community in a variety of leadership roles and as principal of language schools, is a Commissioner for Act for Peace of the National Council of Churches and is a People of Australia Ambassador by the Australian Multicultural Council.

·       Rev Dr Timothy McCowan OAM, a Melbourne-based Baptist minister and leader of interfaith programs whose work in reconciliation programs has included facilitating a Healing of Memories Program for recently arrived refugees.

·       Barbara Robinson OAM, a long-time member of the Refugee Relief Organisation and the International Society for Human Rights Australia and supporter of the Cambodian Association of Victoria; and

·       Kenneth Semmler OAM, who was recognised for his service to the South Australian community and to education through the Lutheran Church and has served as a mentor to refugees and new arrivals since 2000.

Recipients of other Australia Day Honours recognised for their work with refugees included:

·       Robert Mulas PSM, the principal of Fairfield High School in Sydney, who received a Public Service Medal for his work in education, including his introduction of a Parents Café, an initiative which has been recognised internationally as a valuable settlement program by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees; and

·       Sergeant Jim Bellos APM, whose citation for an Australian Police Medal highlighted his work with refugee communities during his seven years as cross-cultural liaison officer for the Queensland Police Service’s Metropolitan South Region.

Read the full list at



Lina Caneva  |  Editor  |  @ProBonoNews

Lina Caneva has been a journalist for more than 35 years. She was the editor of Pro Bono Australia News from when it was founded in 2000 until 2018.

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