ACT arts patron Meredith Hinchliffe has been made a Member of the Order of Australia in today’s Australia Day Honours list for her service to the arts as a donor and her involvement in a number of roles and organisations.
She is one of dozens of people across Canberra and the region to be recognised for their contribution in a variety of fields and endeavours.
Ms Hinchliffe is currently patron of the Canberra Museum and Gallery and is also a donor to the national gallery of Australia and the National Museum of Australia, where she is the Foundation Friend.
She has been the president of Ausdance ACT, director of Craft ACT among a plethora of different roles, as well as being a prolific author on the arts.
Canberra lawyer Peter McGrath has also been made a Member for his significant service to rugby union as an administrator and tertiary education.
An ACT and NSW rugby player, and foundation player for the Canberra Raiders, Mr McGrath went on to be chairman of the ACT Brumbies (1999-2005) and the then Australian Rugby Union (2007-2012).
He has also been a director of Daramalan College and deputy chair of the Canberra Institute of Technology, where he was also a member of the Governing Board from 2015 to 2021.
Also recognised for his contribution to sports administration is general manager of the Canberra Region and Community Rugby League Mark Vergano, who has received a Medal in the Order of Australia.
He is also a former Deputy Chair of ACT Sport and was a board member of Cricket ACT from 2005 to 2015.
Also receiving a Medal is historian Dr Lenore Coltheart, now of Malua Bay, for her service to community history.
Dr Coltheart also played a prominent role in protecting the heritage of the national capital.
She is the current History Adviser to the Australian Women’s History Forum, a founding and Honorary Life Member of the Friends of Albert Hall, a member of the Canberra and District Historic Society, South Coast Historical Society, and former member of ACT Heritage Council (2003-2015), Canberra Centenary History and Heritage Committee (2006-2007), ACT Place Names Committee (circa 2006) and National Trust ACT.
Dr Coltheart is also an author and editor, including a book on Albert Hall, and was a senior public servant at the National Archives of Australia.
One of the ACT’s top public servants, Australian Statistician David Gruen, has been made an Officer in the Order of Australia for distinguished service to public administration, economic research, business, and education.
Dr Gruen has led the Australian Bureau of Statistics since 2019, having been a deputy secretary at Prime Minister and Cabinet from 2014, and various roles at Treasury before that.
Of the 732 awards in the General Division of the Order of Australia, 47 per cent are for women (the highest female percentage ever) and 45 per cent are for service to local communities.
Governor-General David Hurley said he looked forward to increasing awareness and encouraging nominations for people from parts of the community that have been historically underrepresented.
“The fact that the list includes the highest ever percentage of women is very encouraging and I look forward to this positive trend continuing,” he said.
“It has been a challenging couple of years and the recipients announced today are a reminder and reflection of the richness of spirit, selflessness and good in our community.
“To the individuals being celebrated today; thank you for your contribution to Australia and congratulations on being recognised by your peers and your nation.”
The full list of Canberra region honours:
Member (AM) in the Order of Australia
- Allan Anforth, ACT, for significant service to the law, social welfare and education.
- Dewani Bakkum, ACT, for significant service to migrant and refugee services, and to the community.
- Professor Amanda Barnard, ACT, for significant service to computational science, medical research, and education.
- Meredith Hinchliffe, O’Connor ACT, for significant service to the arts through a range of roles and organisations.
- ANU Emeritus Professor Virginia Hooker, Braidwood, NSW, for significant service to tertiary education and Asia-Pacific relations.
- Dianne Lucas, Lyneham, ACT, for significant service to women through sexual assault, domestic and family violence support organisations.
- Peter McGrath, O’Connor, ACT, for significant service to rugby union as an administrator and to tertiary education.
- Patrick Mills, for significant service to basketball, charitable initiatives, and the Indigenous community.
- Jennifer Morison, Forrest, ACT, for significant service to business in the field of accountancy and to professional associations.
- The late Susan Salthouse, formerly of ACT, for significant service as an advocate for people with a disability, and to the prevention of family violence.
- David Williams, Kaleen, ACT, for significant service to people with disability and to education.
Officer (AO) in the Order of Australia
- Dr David Gruen, Barton, ACT, for distinguished service to public administration, to economic research, to business, and to education.
Medal (OAM) in the Order of Australia
- Colonel Ian Ahearn (Retd), Kambah ACT, for service to veterans.
- Bonnie Carter, ACT, for service to community health.
- Dr Lenore Coltheart, Malua Bay, NSW, for service to community history.
- The late Kerry Allen, formerly of Reid, ACT, for service to the arts through music education.
- Dr Christine Biggs, Deakin, ACT, for service to the international community through diplomatic service.
- Margaret Burns, Curtin, ACT, for service to the community of Lithgow.
- Margaret Eichholzer, Kaleen, ACT, for service to education.
- Martin FISK, Bonython ACT, for service to the community through welfare organisations.
- Deepak-Raj GUPTA, Gungahlin ACT, for service to the community of Canberra.
- Leonie Fleming, Ulladulla, NSW, for service to aged welfare and education.
- Lynn Fletcher, Garran, ACT, for service to the arts through children’s literature.
- Anne Haycock, Kaleen, ACT, for service to tennis.
- Edward Helm, Karabar, NSW, for service to veterans and their families.
- Alan Frederick Jessop, Palmerston ACT, for service to the community through charitable organisations.
- Julie Kulikowski, Aranda, ACT, for service to community health.
- Dr Milton Lewis, ACT, for service to community health.
- Vanessa LOW, ACT, for service to as a gold medallist at the Tokyo Paralympic Games 2020.
- Caroline Stacey, ACT, for service to the performing arts through administrative roles.
- Brian Wheeler, Batemans Bay, NSW, for service to veterans and their families.
- Peter White, ACT, for service to public administration.
- Mark Vergano, MacGregor, ACT, for service to sport as an administrator.