Australians who contributed to pandemic response to feature on COVID-19 honours roll

By Shannon Jenkins

January 25, 2021


The prime minister is calling on the public to nominate those who have contributed to Australia’s coronavirus pandemic response and recovery for an Australian National Honour.

Ahead of the release of the Australia Day honours list on Tuesday, Scott Morrison said a dedicated COVID-19 honours roll and the official Australian honours database from the Queen’s Birthday in June would recognise individuals for their contribution, service or achievement relating to COVID-19.

“The pandemic has challenged our nation in a way we have not seen since World War Two, yet we have seen the best of Australia as we have come together, helping one another to keep us safe,” he said in a statement on Monday morning.

“There has been heartbreaking loss and hardship but our overall success has been built on the incredible sacrifices of many. From health professionals providing critical care to COVID-19 patients or those in aged care, to mental health counsellors, and workers going above and beyond to keep critical services and the economy going.

“Australia Day this year will be a day of giving thanks for this service and we want to ensure there is lasting recognition.”

In a new video, Governor-General David Hurley said there have been “countless” examples of Australians who have served tirelessly and done extraordinary things during Australia’s ongoing pandemic response.

“As a nation we should give thanks to these people. Most would never dream of asking for it; they’ve done their job and got on with it,” he said.

“That is, I’ve found, the Australian way. Yet they do deserve thanks, recognition and to be celebrated. I encourage all Australians to look around those in their community, think of who has gone above and beyond and consider nominating them for recognition.”

People who have worked on the front-line and those who have contributed from behind the scenes can be nominated. Morrison said he has asked the premiers and chief ministers to gather nominations in each of the states and territories.

The federal government has also indicated that it will recommend that no COVID-19 honour count towards existing quotas for awards where relevant.

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