Women and LGBTIQ leaders take centre stage on Queen’s Birthday Honours List
10 June 2019 at 8:00 am
A diverse range of philanthropists and not-for-profit leaders have been recognised on the Queen’s Birthday 2019 Honours List, which includes a record number of women recipients.
The Governor-General and Chancellor of the Order of Australia Sir Peter Cosgrove approved 1,214 awards this year, in his final honours list before retirement.
This year’s honours featured a number of household names including Kevin Rudd AC, Ita Buttrose AC, Hugh Jackman AC, Eric Bana AM, Jane Caro AM, Leigh Sales AM, Guy Sebastian AM and Carrie Bickmore OAM.
The social sector was well represented in this year’s honours list, with Rosie Batty AO, philanthropist Nicola Forrest AO, former National Disability Services president Vicki O’Halloran AO, Trawalla Foundation co-founder Carol Schwartz AO and Our Watch chair Natasha Stott Despoja AO among those appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia.
Former Disability Discrimination Commissioner Alastair McEwin AM, former Redkite CEO Jenni Seton AM and HoMie co-founder Dr Robert Gillies OAM were also recognised.
Women received 40 per cent of awards this year – the highest ever percentage of female appointees – and Cosgrove said he was pleased the number of nominations and awards for women was trending up.
“It is great that the overall number of nominations and upward trend of Australian women being acknowledged through the honours system continues to grow. We would all welcome higher recognition of magnificent Australian women,” Cosgrove said.
LGBTIQ community advocates also featured prominently in this year’s awards, including Gay and Lesbian Foundation of Australia chair Associate Professor Ruth McNair AM, Feast Adelaide Queer Arts and Cultural Festival co-founder Margaret Fischer AM, Victorian LGBTI Taskforce member James Gardiner OAM, Just Equal co-founder Ivan Hinton-Teoh OAM and The Pinnacle Foundation co-founder Sean Linkson OAM.
Another LGBTIQ community leader recognised was Equality Australia CEO Anna Brown OAM, who was co-chair of the Australian Marriage Equality campaign.
She told Pro Bono News she felt honoured to be recognised, but was also very aware that her work had been in partnership with many tireless advocates from the LGBTIQ community.
“This award is important for increasing visibility of the struggle for equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and intersex people in Australia,” Brown said.
She added it was great to see the LGBTIQ community represented in these awards.
“We’re seeing growing numbers of LGBTIQ people on these award lists which sends a really positive message to young LGBTIQ people who may be struggling with their sexuality or gender identity,” she said.
“At a time when some LGBTIQ people are feeling worried about what the future may hold, I think it’s really important to send a strong message about the value of inclusion, respect, diversity and the sort of Australia we should be striving to be.”
A full list of winners can be seen here.