Community Leaders Recognised in Queen’s Birthday Honours
13 June 2016 at 8:45 am
Arts philanthropist Roslyn Packer and social entrepreneur and founder of Engineers Without Borders Danny Almagor are two of the hundreds of community sector leaders who have been recognised in the 2016 Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
The list recognises a diverse range of contributions and service across all fields, including community work and volunteers as well as leaders in the Australian Defence Force and Emergency Services.
Included in the 2016 list are 565 recipients of awards in the General Division of the Order of Australia who have been recognised for their contributions and service to their Australian and international communities.
Roslyn Packer, the wife of media owner Kerry Packer was awarded Australia’s most distinguished honour of AC for her services to the community and as a long-standing benefactor of the arts.
In 2014 the Packer family set up one of Australia’s largest philanthropic foundations pledging $200 million over 10 years in charity funding.
The Foundation is jointly funded via the Packer Family Foundation and the Crown Resorts Foundation – which receives funds from the Packers world-wide entertainment businesses – for charities that promote the arts and indigenous education.
The founder of Engineers Without Borders and the Australian social impact investment group Small Giants, Danny Almagor was awarded an OAM (an Order of Australia in the General Division) for his services to the Not for Profit sector and his social entrepreneurship.
Almagor was the inaugural Social Entrepreneur in Residence at RMIT, the founder and former CEO of Engineers Without Borders Australia, chairperson of Jewish Aid Australia and on the wisdom council for Hub Melbourne.
His contribution to the community has been acknowledged a number of times including as the Ernst & Young Social Entrepreneur of the Year, a Churchill Fellowship, and an Australian Leadership Award.
Indigenous activist (Nyunggai) Warren Mundine was awarded an AO for his distinguished service to the community as a leader in Indigenous affairs and advocate for enhancing economic and social public policy outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander people.
Mundine has been the chairman and non-executive director, National Aboriginal Islander Skills Development Association (NAISDA) Foundation, since 2013.
Philanthropist Deborah (Debbie) Dadon, who is the chair and founding executive officer of the Besen Family Foundation, was awarded an AM for her significant service to the Not for Profit sector through philanthropic foundations, the arts, education, and to Australia-Israel cultural relations.
The Besen Family Foundation was established to build on the philanthropic tradition started by Eva and Marc Besen. Dadon is also chair of Australian Jewish Funders.
The former chair of World Vision Australia Anne Miriam Robinson was awarded an AM for significant service to the community through regulatory and governance reform in the Not for Profit and charity sectors, and to the law.
Robinson has been principal and founder of Prolegis Lawyers specialising in charity law, since 2001.
As well, Betty Weule from the Not for Profit financial counselling sector was made a Member of the Order of Australia.
The citation is “for significant service to social welfare, through the development of financial counselling services in New South Wales”.
Peak body, Financial Counselling Australia said that to its knowledge, this was the first time the Australian honours system has included an award to a person that mentions financial counselling.
Over a career spanning 40 years, Weule founded the first financial counselling service in NSW in 1976. In 1981, she set up the first telephone financial counselling service. She was also a founding member of both the Financial Counsellors Association of NSW and the peak body for financial counsellors.
The Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd) offered his congratulations to the recipients.
“We are fortunate as a community to have so many outstanding people willing to dedicate themselves to the betterment of our nation and it is only fitting that they have today been recognised through the Australian Honours system,” he said.
“Since 1975 these awards have helped to define, encourage and reinforce Australian goals and values. They identify role models who give without thought of recognition or personal gain.
“Today’s recipients now join the company of more than 40,000 women and men whose actions have enriched our community and our lives. Their qualities – compassion, dedication, generosity, selflessness, tolerance, and energetic ambition – inspire and motivate us.
“For over 40 years these honours have helped to define, encourage and reinforce our national aspirations and ideals by acknowledging exceptional Australians. Today, we add a new group of names to those we should all admire.”