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Philanthropists and NFP sector leaders honoured on Queen's Birthday


8 June 2020 at 8:00 am
Luke Michael
The Queen’s Birthday 2020 Honours List has recognised 933 Australians


Luke Michael | 8 June 2020 at 8:00 am


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Philanthropists and NFP sector leaders honoured on Queen's Birthday
8 June 2020 at 8:00 am

The Queen’s Birthday 2020 Honours List has recognised 933 Australians

Some of Australia’s top philanthropists and not-for-profit leaders have been recognised for their service to the community on the Queen’s Birthday 2020 Honours List.

The Governor-General David Hurley AC approved awards for 933 Australians this year, including 710 award winners in the General Division of the Order of Australia (three AC, 50 AO, 200 AM and 457 OAM).

While the most notable AC winner was former Prime Minister Tony Abbott – who was recognised for his “significant contributions to trade, border control, and to the Indigenous community” – the other two people appointed to the highest order were recognised for their philanthropy work.

University of Sydney chancellor Belinda Hutchinson was lauded for her “philanthropic endeavours to address social disadvantage”. She is co-founder of the Eureka Benevolent Foundation, a director of Australian Philanthropic Services and a trustee of the St Vincent’s Curran Foundation.

And Naomi Milgrom was recognised in part for her “eminent service to the community through philanthropic leadership” as founder of the Naomi Milgrom Foundation.

Among those in the social sector to be recognised were Indigenous leader Marcia Langton (AO), philanthropist Simon Mordant (AO), Impact100 South Australia chair Kathryn House (AM), Queenslanders with Disability Network deputy chair Dr John MacPherson (AM), Foodbank Queensland founding director David Muir (AM), and World Vision International chair Donna Shepherd (AM).

Also recognised was Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal director and The Pratt Foundation trustee Ian Allen (AM), and Sharing Stories Foundation co-chair Amanda Milledge (OAM).

Hurley congratulated the winners for their service contribution to Australia.

“In this list we see all the positives that are in our community – we see the great ideas, we see the hard-work, we see the love and compassion for fellow human beings – it’s a microcosm of Australia,” Hurley said.

“This list recognises a group of outstanding Australians who have made a contribution to their community, to Australia globally or domestically. Their efforts have been noted by their peers, they’ve been nominated and assessed independently as worthy of recognition.” 

This year continued the positive trend towards gender parity, with 41 per cent of recipients in the General Division being women – compared to 40 per cent last year.

The governor-general noted that the system was driven by nominations, meaning it was important for the community to nominate worthy people.

“We are working hard to achieve parity between male and female nominations and to increase the diversity of nominations in other areas,” he said.

“There has been success recently, but that success has to be sustainable and that is one thing that I want to work on in my time.”

Another sector leader recognised was Denis Moriarty (AM), who is the co-founder and group managing director of Our Community. 

Moriarty told Pro Bono News it was an honour to be recognised. 

“It’s incredibly humbling to be recognised by a committee for the work that you’ve done,” Moriarty said.

“Often you do long hours and lots of hard work. And it’s a nice way of saying this country values this service.” 

But Moriarty said it was vital more women were getting recognised for their efforts, especially in the female-dominated not-for-profit sector. 

“I think the committee has done a good job, but they haven’t done a good enough job because we still aren’t getting an equal number of men and women getting awards,” he said.

“It’s not good enough. It’s 2020. We’re not living in the dark ages, particularly in the not-for-profit sector where 80 per cent of the workforce are women.”


Luke Michael  |  Journalist  |  @luke_michael96

Luke Michael is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

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