A former ACT Chief Minister, a much-beloved broadcaster and a charity champion are among the high-flyers and quiet community achievers recognised for their contribution to the nation in this year’s Australia Day Honours.
The Liberal Party’s Gary Humphries was made an Officer in the Order of Australia for distinguished service to the Parliament of Australia, and to the Legislative Assembly.
Mr Humphries spent 13 years in the Assembly, serving as a Minister, Treasurer, Chief Minister and Opposition Leader before spending a decade representing the people of the ACT in the Senate.
Former ABC broadcaster Alex Sloan, who would have crossed swords with Mr Humphries many times over a long stint at the microphone from 1989 to 2016, was made a Member of the Order of Australia for significant service to the community of Canberra, and to the broadcast media as a radio presenter.
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Canberra Citizen of the Year in 2017, Ms Sloan has deep roots into the community and has been Regional Director, Churchill Fellowship Selection Committee, since 2016; Ambassador, Hands Across Canberra, since 2009; and Community Interests Representative, ACT Architecture Board, since 2014.
Prominent car dealer Peter Munday was awarded a Medal in the Order of Australia for service to the community through charitable organisations.
Dealer/Principal of Lennock Motors in Phillip, Mr Munday has leveraged his business contacts for years to raise many thousands of dollars for Canberra charities, particularly the Canberra Hospital.
Last year he was a nominee for the ACT Local Hero Award, Australian of the Year.
A posthumous award was made to urban planning doyen Patrick Troy, who passed away last year.
He was made a Companion of the Order of Australia, awarded for eminent service to urban and regional planning, to environmental sustainability and social justice policy, and as a mentor and role model.
Author, academic and public servant, Professor Troy was Emeritus Professor and Visiting Fellow at the ANU Fenner School of Environment and Society. He was also Deputy Secretary in the Federal Department of Urban and Regional Development in the Whitlam Government.
Two Indigenous women were also recognised for their service to their community and education.
Director of the ANU’s Tjabal Indigenous Higher Education Centre since 2012, Anne Martin was made a Member of the Order of Australia, as was Dr Kathleen Alice Price, Director of the Ngunnawal Higher Education Centre at the University of Canberra and Aboriginal Education Consultant to the ACT Directorate of Education and Training.
Also made a Member for service to education, was ANU historian Frank Bongiorno, whose books The Sex Lives of Australians: A History, and The Eighties: The Decade That Transformed Australia both won ACT Book of the Year awards.
Science and medicine has figured prominently.
Emeritus Professor Brian Kennett was made an Officer for distinguished service to the earth sciences as a leading academic and researcher, particularly in the field of seismology.
Also in that area, former CEO of Geoscience Australia, Dr Christopher Pigram was also made an Officer for significant service to public administration, particularly through scientific leadership roles.
Senior specialist at the Canberra Hospital and Crohn’s and Colitis Australia Director, Professor Paul Pavli was made a Member for significant service to medicine, to patient care, and as a researcher and mentor.
Another Canberra Hospital specialist, Dr Andrew Miller, was made a Member for significant service to medicine as a dermatologist, and to professional organisations.
Organ donation pioneer Dr Holly Northam was awarded a Medal for her service to medicine. Director of ShareLife and Organ and Tissue Donor Coordinator at ACT Health, Dr Northam helped establish the Australian Organ and Tissue Authority.
In the area of community service, Terence Birtles was recognised for a range of roles with organisations such as the City Uniting Church, Lifeline, the National Library of Australia and NSW Rural Fire Service.
Ross Dunn, who has lobbied for policy change around police pursuits for minor crime, was awarded a Medal for service to the community through victims of crime advocacy and support.
Medals for community service also went to prominent Rotarians Frederick Fawke and Colin Holmes; Canberra Choral Society’s Gail Ford; Susan Healy for her work for people with a disability; Lifeline’s Director of Service Delivery, Mandy Larsson; and Tuggeranong Community Council president Glenys Patulny.
In sport, former Weston Creek Soccer Club president and Capital Football Hall of Fame member Donna O’Brien was rewarded with a Medal for her service to football.
And on a day that is forecast to be 40 degrees, it would be remiss not to mention Stephen Anderson for service to the air-conditioning and refrigeration industry through the development of environmental policy.