Public servants recognised in Australia Day honours

By Melissa Coade

January 26, 2022

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60 public servants are named among the 2022 Australia Day honours. servants. (AAP Image/Joe Castro)

The 2022 Australia Day honours have named 64 public servants among 1,040 Australians recognised this year.

Judges, chief scientists, veterinarians, top government bureaucrats and public health experts are among some of the distinguished public servants to be pinned in this year’s awards.

Recipients of the top accolades include former chief scientist of Australia Dr Alan Finkel AO, National Disability Insurance Agency chair Dr Helen Nugent AO, and former chair 2012-2020 of Sports Australia John Wylie AM, who were this year appointed to the order of companion (AC).

The Public Service Medal (PSM) was awarded to 60 federal, state, territory and local government employees, with 29 of those for service related to Australia’s COVID-19 response. Another four public servants were awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM).

PSM awards are given for ‘outstanding service’; nominations come from within a department or agency and are recommended by the relevant minister in all jurisdictions for governor-general David Hurley’s approval.

Hurley announced the list of 2022 Australia Day honours recipients on Tuesday evening. In a statement, he said the recipients were 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 governor-general said.

“Collectively the recipients, whose achievements span community service, science and research, industry, sport, the arts and more, represent the strength and diversity of Australia.”

The governor-general also acknowledged the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic had created in the past few years. PSM award recipients comprised the majority of a 58-strong honour roll for Australians who contributed to Australia’s COVID-19 response.

This year, the highest ever percentage of women (47%) was recognised in the General Division of the Order of Australia, with 346 named. 

A total of 330 (45%) award recipients were also recognised for service to local communities.

“The fact that the list includes the highest ever percentage of women is very encouraging and I look forward to this positive trend continuing,” Hurley said.  

“We will continue to increase awareness and encourage nominations for people from parts of our community that have been historically underrepresented.”

In addition to the 732 people recognised in the General Division of the Order of Australia (7 AC, 25 AO, 155 AM appointed to the order and 545 OAM), the honours list included 30 recipients of awards in the Military Division of the Order of Australia (3 AO, 16 AM and 11 OAM); 197 Meritorious awards; and 81 Distinguished and Conspicuous awards.

Companion of the Order of Australia (AC)

Distinguished Professor James Dale AO has been appointed to the order for eminent service to agricultural science, particularly through biological and biotechnological research and development, leadership, and gene technology.

Dale, who developed modified pro-vitamin-A-enriched bananas in 2005, was chair of the Australian Research Council’s biological sciences and biotechnology panel in 2006. From 2001-2007, he was a member of the department of health’s gene technology technical advisory committee.

Professor Dale is a fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering and was named Queensland Senior Australian of the Year in 2019.

Former chief scientist Dr Alan Finkel AO has been appointed to the order for eminent service to science, to national energy innovation and research infrastructure capability, to climate change and COVID-19 response initiatives, and to science and engineering education.

Finkel’s tenure as chief scientist (2016-2020) within the department of industry, innovation and science, was followed by his appointment to the chair of COVID-19 response Rapid Research Information Forum (since 2020). From 2021, he has served as the federal government’s special adviser for low-emissions technology, and led the 2020 national ventilator taskforce.

CSIRO fellow Dr Graeme Moad has been appointed to the order for his eminent service to science, particularly polymer design and synthesis and radical polymerization, education through mentoring, and to professional scientific organisations.

Moad was the CSIRO’s chief research scientist from 1999-2015 and has been a fellow of the Australian Academy of Science since 2012. Last year, he was made a fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering.

Dr Helen Nugent, National Disability Insurance Agency chair and Garvan Institute for Medical Research director, has been appointed to the order for eminent service to people with disability through leadership of social and economic policy reform and implementation, to business, to the arts, and to the community.

Since 2011, she has served as the chair of the National Portrait Gallery, and was Bond University’s Chancellor from 2009-2016.

John Wylie has been recognised for his eminent service to the community through leadership in the sporting, cultural, philanthropic and business sectors.

The former chair of Sports Australia (formerly Australian Sports Commission), including Australian Institute of Sport (2012-2020), led the board agenda to advance women’s sport, Paralympic sport and reform of national sports organisations. 

Wylie was president of the Library Board of Victoria from 2012-2021 and supported a range of organisations, including Teach for Australia, The Aurora Foundation, YMCA Bridge Melbourne, Paralympics Australia and Australian Sports Foundation through the John and Myriam Wylie Foundation.

Member of the Order of Australia (AM)

Allan Anforth, honorary ambassador of the ACT and part-time senior member of the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal, has been recognised for his significant service to the law, to social welfare, and to education.

Anforth has been an adjunct professor for Canberra University’s law school since 2018 and a part-time lecturer at UNSW.

In addition to various judicial roles, the legal expert has performed a range of ministerial advisory roles. Throughout his career, Anfroth has been a member of the Ministerial Emergency Advisory Committee, Ministerial Drug and Alcohol Steering Committee, and Ministerial Advisory Committee for Fixing Costs in Federal Jurisdictions.

Dr Robert Johnson, chair of the NSW Department of Primary Industries’s stock welfare panel, has been recognised for his significant service to veterinary science and to professional societies.

The veterinary expert has been an ad hoc policy committee member for the World Veterinary Association since 2019, and the director of Vets Beyond Borders from 2017.

Elizabeth MacGregor, Museum of Contemporary Art director, has been recognised for her significant service to museums and galleries through leadership roles with arts institutions.

From 2020-21, MacGregor chaired the federal government’s creative economy taskforce, and participated in the prime minister’s business delegations to China and the USA in 2014. She was also a member of the Barangaroo Precinct Public Art Panel from 2014-16.

Helen Marshall, professor of vaccinology within the University of Adelaide’s School of Medicine and National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) practitioner fellow, has been recognised for her significant service to medicine in the field of vaccinology and public health, to research, and to education.

Professor Marshall is a member of the Australian Academy of Science’s COVID-19 expert database and a scientific advisory committee member for the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS). She previously served as a member of the federal government’s Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI), and was invited by SA Health as an expert for its COVID-19 vaccination implementation group.

Norma Mason, former president of the Local Government Association of Tasmania (2000-2006), has been recognised for her significant service to local government, and to the community.

Mason was the mayor of Flinders Island Council from 1996-2002 and served as director of Metro Tasmania (2008-2013) before taking up the position of chair at the agency (2013-2016). She has held a range of government administration roles, including chair of the Local Government Standards panel, and served on a board of inquiry into the Glenorchy City Council from 2015-17.

Judge Gaetano (Tony) Pagone has been recognised for his significant service to the law, to the judiciary, and to professional associations.

The Victorian-based judge chaired the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety from 2019-2021, and sat on the bench of the Federal Court of Australia for five years (2013-2018), and the Supreme Court of Victoria (2001-2002 and 2007-2013).

Wendy Steendam, Victoria Police deputy commissioner for specialist operations, has been recognised for significant service to the community through emergency response organisations.

Steendam has been a board member of the Victorian Sentencing Advisory Council since 2019 and in 2016 delivered the Victoria Police Capability Plan. She has been a fellow of the Institute of Public Administration Australia (Victoria) since 2014, and was a former member of the Family Violence Interdepartmental Committee. In 2011 she received the Australian police medal and in 2014 was awarded an Australian Federal Police Service Medal.

Alison Watkins has been recognised for her significant service to business through leadership roles with a range of organisations. 

The current chancellor of the University of Tasmania and former group managing director of Coca-Cola Amatil Limited (2014-2021) is a board member of the Reserve Bank of Australia and also chairs the Business Council of Australia’s economic policy and competitiveness committee. 

Watkins is a former president of the Victorian branch of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and in 2018-2019 was a panel member for the Independent Review of the Australian Public Service.  

NSW-based judge Gary Watts has been recognised for his significant service to the law, and to the judiciary, particularly to the Family Court.

Justice Watts was appointed to the bench of the Family Court of Australia in 2005, and since 2018 has sat in the appeal division. From 2017-2019, he was an advisory committee member for the Australian Law Reform Commission’s ‘Family law for the future — An inquiry into the family law system’, and between 2004-2012 was a family law council member for the Attorney General’s Department. 

Vicky Welgraven, Our Watch board member and member of UN Women Australia, has been recognised for her significant service to women through social welfare organisations, and to Indigenous health.

Welgraven was a senior project officer for SA Health’s Central Adelaide Local Health Network from 2009-2021 and before that worked in the APS (1994-2009) and the South Australian public service (since 2009).

David Williams, an academic and trainer for the Special Olympics Greater Canberra Club leadership program, has been recognised for his significant service to people with disability, and to education. 

Between 2015 and 2019, Williams was an academic mentor for the Australian Public Service’s ICT graduate program. Earlier in his career, Williams was the commissioning engineer for the construction of the new parliament house building (1985-89) and worked on various projects for the department of defence from the late 80s to 2014.

Williams has been the president of the Australian Society for Knowledge Management since 2014, and has lectured at ANU and the University of Canberra. 

Office of the Order of Australia (AO)

Dr David Gruen, ABS statistician and member of the National Data Advisory Council, was recognised for his distinguished service to public administration, to economic research, to business, and to education.

From 2014-2019, Gruen was the deputy secretary, Economic and G20 Sherpa, of the DPM&C. He has served as the executive director of Treasury’s economic research department (1998-2002), and is a current research committee member for the Australia and New Zealand School of Government. 

Rodney Sims, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chair, has been recognised for distinguished service to public administration in economic policy and regulatory roles.

Sims has held a number of appointments, including as chair of the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal of New South Wales, and chair of the state rail authority.

From 1988-1990, he was the economic advisor to former prime minister Bob Hawke, and went on to serve as deputy secretary for the department of transport and communications, and deputy secretary of DPM&C. Sims was also a former commissioner of the National Competition Council.

Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM)

The late Roger Frankel, Honorary Consul of Brazil since 2007, was recognised for his service to public administration and international relations.

The consultant psychotherapist and counsellor was the director of the Australia Latin America Business Council (2000-2009) and a Latin America consultant for various higher education institutions. 

Frankel was a special adviser to the Victorian government on Latin America and, in his early career with DFAT served as the Ambassador to Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador and the Dominican Republic (1996-2000). From 1991-1993, he was a counsellor for the Australian Embassy in Paris.

Peter White, executive director of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority’s future operations taskforce, has been recognised for service to public administration.

From 2004-2008, White was a member of the senior executive service at the APSC. He has previously served as Civil Aviation Safety Authority executive manager (2018-2019), Australian Office of Transport Security general manager (2016-2018), and Australian Customs and Border Protection Service South East Asia regional director (2009-2012).

White was previously a member of the AFP, and went on to have roles as a senior adviser for the national security division of DPM&C, and war crimes and character assessment branch assistant secretary with the department of immigration and citizenship (2005-2007).

Elizabeth Wilson, a former South Australian public servant, has been recognised for her service to public administration in that state. Most recently, Wilson was director of early childhood development in the SA department of education and children’s services (2008-2010). Before that, she held the position of strategy and research director with the department of families and communities (2004-2008). 

In Wilson’s early career, she was the executive council clerk for SA Governors Dame Roma Mitchell (1995-1996) and Sir Eric Neal (1996-2001).

Public Service Medal (PSM) – Federal

James Baxter was recognised for outstanding public service as Australia’s chief negotiator for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Free Trade Agreement.

Michelle Baxter was recognised for outstanding public service to the health and safety of Australian workplaces and the community, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. (COVID honour roll).

Shona Blewett was recognised for outstanding public service to education and teacher training in Earth Sciences, and for leadership in education innovations. (COVID honour roll).

Caragh Cassoni was recognised for outstanding public service through leadership in the Australian Government’s response to COVID-19, particularly in residential aged care. (COVID honour roll).

Kylie Crane was recognised for outstanding public service through contributions to the Disability Taskforce, and to the Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package, during the COVID-19 pandemic. (COVID honour roll).

Paul Creech was recognised for outstanding public service to community health, particularly through ensuring access to telehealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic. (COVID honour roll).

Tracy Creech was recognised for outstanding public service in establishing survivor-focused support services for the National Redress Scheme and for guiding instrumental improvements. 

Kim Crimmins was recognised for outstanding public service through support for victims of crime and Australians impacted by disaster.

Justine Curnow was recognised for outstanding public service in leading the assistance package to sustain and revive the arts and entertainment sectors through the COVID-19 pandemic. (COVID honour roll).

Bronwyn Field was recognised for outstanding public service managing national collaboration to ensure hospital capacity and industry viability, and a leading role in the return of Australians from overseas. (COVID honour roll).

Travis Haslam was recognised for outstanding public service in managing the National Medical Stockpile, particularly in ensuring sufficient PPE for Australian health care workers. (COVID honour roll).

Stephanie Hodson was recognised for outstanding public service through the provision of mental health counselling services to the veteran community. 

Vanessa Holben was recognised for outstanding public service through leadership of the National Coordination Mechanism as part of the Australian Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. (COVID honour roll).

Nicole Jarvis was recognised for outstanding public service through contributions to the successful establishment and operation of the Victorian Aged Care Response Centre. (COVID honour roll).

Megan Lees was recognised for outstanding public service leading Defence’s national response to COVID-19 and the provision of policy and communications advice to the Australian Defence Force community (COVID honour roll).

Alice Linacre was recognised for outstanding public service in the provision and management of legal services and resources to support the government’s response to critical events, including the COVID-19 pandemic (COVID honour roll).

David Luchetti was recognised for outstanding public service to science and industry policy in Australia, particularly in the Square Kilometre Array project.

Sonia Marsic was recognised for outstanding public service to the commonwealth through the provision of legal services, particularly in relation to anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing legislation.

Ivan Neville was recognised for outstanding public service in improving labour market policies and responsiveness to labour market developments, particularly to address unemployment during the COVID-19 pandemic recovery (COVID honour roll).

Kathryn Paton was recognised for outstanding public service through developing the policy and processes that enabled critical income-support payments to Australians impacted by COVID-19 restrictions (COVID honour roll).

John Shepherd was recognised for outstanding public service through the development, design and implementation of the Single Touch Payroll program (COVID honour roll).

Andrew Snashall was recognised for outstanding public service to the Defence Community, particularly in delivering improvements of military justice processes for Australian Defence Force Members.

Christopher Teal was recognised for outstanding public service in developing and establishing globally recognised best practice guidelines to counter foreign interference in the Australian university sector.

Dr Stephanie Williams was recognised for outstanding public service in planning and implementing the Australian Government’s vaccine response in the Indo-Pacific region (COVID honour roll).

Public Service Medal (PSM) – NSW 

Stephanie Barker was recognised for outstanding public service to urban planning in New South Wales.

Katherine Boyd was recognised for outstanding public service in the provision of legal advice as General Counsel in New South Wales, particularly during the 2019-2020 bushfire season and COVID-19 pandemic (COVID honour roll).

Gemma Broderick was recognised for outstanding public service to legal and regulatory services in public health in New South Wales (COVID honour roll).

​​Carmel Donnelly was recognised for outstanding public service to regulatory reforms in New South Wales.

Dominic Dwyer was recognised for outstanding public service as an infectious disease expert and public health advisor in New South Wales (COVID honour roll).

Mark Greentree was recognised for outstanding public service to improved digital learning and innovation to support education in New South Wales (COVID honour roll).

Noelene Hyde was recognised for outstanding public service to local government in New South Wales.

Matthew McFarlane was recognised for outstanding public service to emergency management in New South Wales, particularly in response to the 2019-2020 bushfires (COVID honour roll).

Judith Perl was recognised for outstanding public service to drink and drug driving research and road safety in New South Wales.

Sandra Rothwell was recognised for outstanding public service to Revenue New South Wales, particularly through the COVID-19 pandemic (COVID honour roll).

Anne Skewes was recognised for outstanding public service to the New South Wales Government and the people of New South Wales.

John Tansey was recognised for outstanding public service to building regulation in New South Wales.

Public Service Medal (PSM) – Victoria

Margaret Allan was recognised for outstanding public service to policy and program delivery in regional Victoria.

Terrence Bennett was recognised for outstanding public service to education in Victoria.

Rosa Billi was recognised for outstanding public service to community health in Victoria, particularly in the area of gambling harm.

Colin Dobson was recognised for outstanding public service to education in Victoria.

John Koehn was recognised for outstanding public service to conservation and freshwater management in Victoria.

Lee Miezis was recognised for outstanding public service to policy, regulation and service delivery in Victoria, particularly in the area of environmental sustainability.

Sarah Stephen was recognised for outstanding public service to strategic policy reform and delivery in Victoria, particularly in the areas of climate change and energy.

Elizabeth Williams was recognised for outstanding public service to electoral management in Victoria.

Public Service Medal (PSM) – Queensland

Gordon Guymer was recognised for outstanding public service in the areas of scientific investigations, botanical research, policy reform relating to biodiversity conservation and natural resource management.

Jasmina Joldic was recognised for outstanding public service through delivery of critical functions and health policies that have contributed to the successful COVID-19 response in Queensland (COVID honour roll).

Paul Martyn was recognised for outstanding public service in the areas of Queensland export, global investment opportunities and leading the Queensland Government COVID-19 Response and Recovery Taskforce (COVID honour roll).

Lyndell Sellars was recognised for outstanding public service to education in Queensland, particularly in response to COVID-19 (COVID honour roll).

Julie Steel was recognised for outstanding public service through court innovations for Queensland (COVID honour roll).

Jeffrey Stewart-Harris was recognised for outstanding public service to local and state government in Queensland.

Public Service Medal (PSM) – Western Australia

Anthony Kannis was recognised for outstanding public service to transport and infrastructure reform, particularly through METRONET (COVID honour roll).

Dr Mark Sweetingham was recognised for outstanding public service to scientific research and development of the grains industry in Western Australia.

Anna Wyatt was recognised for outstanding public service to improving education and health outcomes for Aboriginal people and the state of Western Australia.

Public Service Medal (PSM) – South Australia

Mark Connelly was recognised for outstanding public service to achieving outcomes for the Anangu communities.

Sara Fleming was recognised for outstanding public service to the development and provision of Paediatric Palliative Care Services.

Kirk Richardson was recognised for outstanding public service in developing and implementing key projects for the City of Onkaparinga.

Public Service Medal (PSM) – ACT

Sara Burns was recognised for outstanding public service, in particular to improving cross border governance and the modernisation of cabinet processes (COVID honour roll).

Mary Toohey was recognised for outstanding public service to law reform in the Australian Capital Territory and supporting the response to the COVID-19 pandemic (COVID honour roll).

Public Service Medal (PSM) – Northern Territory

Kathleen Robinson was recognised for outstanding public service to the Northern Territory Public Sector.

Ian Scrimgeour was recognised for outstanding public service to geoscience in the Northern Territory.

The Australians honoured in this year’s list will be invested with their awards either by the governor-general in Canberra, or by the state governors or the administrator of the Northern Territory, where COVID–19 restrictions allow.

Anyone can nominate any Australian for an award in the Order of Australia. If you know someone worthy, nominate them now at www.gg.gov.au.

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