Ex commonwealth secretary Daryl Quinlivan, Queensland’s former corruption commissioner Judith Bell, and the inaugural national children’s commissioner Megan Mitchell have been recognised for their service to the community in this year’s Australia Day Honours List.
While more than 840 Australians have been recognised in the 2021 awards ceremony, just 36.78% of awards went to women.
Governor-general David Hurley said he was determined to make sure that the Order of Australia reflects the diversity and breadth of Australia’s community.
“More needs to be done to achieve gender parity and increase diversity in other areas. Over the last 12 months I’ve initiated various initiatives in this regard to encourage people and organisations to nominate individuals they think are worthy,” he said.
“The Order of Australia belongs to all Australians – my strong message to the community is that if you know someone that is worthy, take the time to nominate them. People cannot be recognised if they’re not nominated and that has to be driven from the community. It is a wonderful way to recognise and celebrate achievement, service and contribution to community.”
The 2021 award recipients have served the community “in almost every way conceivable”, Hurley said.
“The sum of these contributions speaks to our nation’s greatest strength – its people.”
See the full list of current and former public servants who have been acknowledged for their service in the Order of Australia honours below.
Companion of the Order (AC)
Malcolm Turnbull, NSW, for eminent service to the people and Parliament of Australia, particularly as prime minister, through significant contributions to national security, free trade, the environment and clean energy, innovation, economic reform and marriage equality, and to business and philanthropy. Turnbull served as prime minister from 2015 to 2018.
Officer of the Order (AO)
Kenneth Allen, NSW, for distinguished service to international relations, particularly through global information sharing networks for expatriate Australian professionals. He was Australia’s consul-general in New York from 2001 to 2006, and has since held a number of private sector positions.
Dr Barry Inglis, NSW, for distinguished service to science and engineering, particularly to metrology, measurement standards and research, and to professional organisations. Inglis has served in a number of roles at the CSIRO and Standards Australia. He has also held the positions of CEO and chief metrologist at the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science’s National Measurement Institute.
Daryl Quinlivan, NSW, for distinguished service to public administration through leadership roles in the areas of agriculture, water and the environment. Quinlivan was secretary of the federal Department of Agriculture from 2015 to 2020. Prior to that, he served as head of office at the Productivity Commission, deputy secretary at the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, and deputy secretary at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. He was recently named as NSW’s first agriculture commissioner.
Jay Weatherill, WA, for distinguished service to the people and Parliament of South Australia, particularly as premier, and to early childhood and tertiary education. He was premier of SA from 2011-2018, and is currently CEO of Thrive By Five at the Minderoo Foundation.
Member of the Order (AM)
Judith Bell, QLD, for significant service to the administration of justice, to the visual arts, and to education. Bell worked for the Queensland government from 2008 to 2013, as commissioner at the Crime and Corruption Commission.
Bernadette Black, TAS, for significant service to youth, to local government, and to the community. Black held the role of councillor at Kingborough Council from 2011 to 2016. She has held a number of roles outside of local government, including with the Brave Foundation and Special Olympics Tasmania.
Anne Burgess, SA, for significant service to mental health, to gender equality, and to older persons. Her past roles have included assistant commissioner at the SA Public Sector Grievance Review Commission, acting commissioner and deputy commissioner at the Equal Opportunity Commission SA, director of the state Office for Women, and director of mental health at the Department of Human Services SA.
Radmila Desic, QLD, for significant service to women in the construction industry, and to unemployed youth. A qualified carpenter, Desic currently works as a senior ICT invest consultant at the Queensland Government Customer and Digital Group. She has also worked as a program manager and principle program officer at the state Department of Employment, Small Business and Training.
Jillian Garner, for significant service to architecture, to professional associations, and to education. Garner has served as the Victorian government architect since 2015, and was previously associate government architect.
Gregory Hall, TAS, for significant service to the people and Parliament of Tasmania, and to agriculture and horticulture. Hall was deputy president of the Parliament of Tasmania Legislative Council for a number of years, and served as Independent Member for Rowallan, Western Tiers and McIntyre from 2001 to 2018. Hall also held the role of mayor (1997-2002) and councillor (1990-2002) at Meander Valley Council, formerly known as Deloraine Council.
Angus Hume, VIC, for significant service to water catchment management, and to agribusiness. Hume served as community relationships manager at the Victorian Department of Primary Industries from 2005 to 2009. He then worked as an advisor to the federal minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry until 2010, and has held a number of roles in water, environment and resource management since.
John Jobling, NSW, for significant service to the community, to first aid organisations, and to local government. Jobling served as councillor at Leichardt Council from 2012 to 2016. He has also worked at St John NSW, and as deputy chair at the Order of Australia Association.
John (Sandy) MacDonald, NSW, for significant service to the people and Parliament of Australia, and to public administration. MacDonald has served as chair of Defence Housing Australia since 2015. Prior to that he was director of the organisation. He has also held the roles of senator for NSW, deputy leader of the Nationals in the Senate, parliamentary secretary to the Minister for Defence, and parliamentary secretary for Trade.
Peter Marshall, VIC, for significant service to tertiary education administration, and to professional associations. Marshall has worked as a general manager, human resources at the Victorian Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and as director, corporate services, and deputy director, effectiveness review unit, at the Victorian Department of Finance. He has also held a number of roles in the tertiary education sector.
Christina Fay Miller, NT, for significant service to local government, to tourism, and to the community of Katherine. Miller has served as mayor of Katherine Town Council since 2012, and was mayor of Alderman in the early 2000s. She has held a number of other roles in the public sector, including as former deputy leader of the Country Liberal Party.
Megan Mitchell, NSW, for significant service to children, to human rights, and to wellbeing initiatives. Mitchell was Australia’s first National Children’s Commissioner. She has previously worked as NSW Commissioner for Children and Young People, and has held senior roles at the ACT Office for Children, Youth and Family Support, within the NSW Department of Community Services, and at the Australian Council of Social Service.
Commodore William Taylor (Retd), QLD, for significant service to the people and Parliament of Australia, and to public administration. Among his past roles, Taylor was the federal member for Groom, the inaugural chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties, and administrator of the Australian Indian Ocean Territories. He retired from the Royal Australian Navy as commodore in 1988.
Professor Johnstone Thwaites, VIC, for significant service to the environment, and to the people and Parliament of Victoria. In the early 90s, Thwaites was mayor of South Melbourne City Council (now Port Philip Council). He served as deputy premier of Victoria from 1999 until his retirement in 2007. Since then his roles have included chair of Melbourne Water, and chair of the Monash Sustainable Development Institute.
Patricia White, SA, for significant service to engineering, and to the people and Parliament of South Australia. Her roles have included member for Taylor, minister for education and children’s services, minister for transport, science and information economy, urban development and planning, and a number of shadow minister roles.
Medal of the Order (OAM)
Keith Barber, NSW, for service to the community of Corowa. Barber was mayor of Corowa Shire Council (now Federation Council) from 1989 to 1995. Other past roles have included chair of the Corowa District Health Service and chair of the Murray Rural Lands Protection.
Kym Callaghan, SA, for service to local government, and to the community of Elliston. He has held various positions on the District Council of Elliston, including chair. He has also served on the Mid-West Health Advisory Council, and was involved in establishing the Elliston Men’s Shed.
Frank Holohan, VIC, for service to the community of Dandenong, and to local government. Holohan was mayor of Dandenong City Council between 1984 and 1985 and 1977 and 1978. He also served as councillor for many years.
John Kearns, for service to the community through a range of roles. Kearn’s public sector roles have included councillor at Lithgow City Council and councillor at Blaxland Shire Council.
Terence Larkins, VIC, for service to the community, and to local government. Larkins was CEO of Gisborne Shire Council in the 1970s, and is the former vice president of the Victorian Local Governance Association.
Leslie Parsons, NSW, for service to the community of Inverell, and to local government. Parsons was a councillor at Inverell Shire Council between 1987 and 1991, and from 1980 to 1983.
Robert Sloane, SA, for service to local government, and to the community of the Barossa Valley. Sloane served as mayor of Barossa Valley Council from 2014 to 2018. He has also worked in a number of community health and community roles.
Paul Talbot, NSW, for service to local government, and to the community of Corowa. Talbot was a councillor on the Corowa Shire Council (now Federation Council) from 1983 to 2008. He has also served as deputy mayor, and in community positions.