Bettina Arndt will not be stripped of her Order of Australia honour

The Council of the Order of Australia reviewed the honours of men's rights activist Bettina Arndt and journalist Mike Carlton following widespread public condemnation.

Men's rights activist Bettina Arndt.

Men's rights activist Bettina Arndt. Source: Facebook

Men's rights activist Bettina Arndt will keep her Order of Australia award following a review by the committee that hands out the honours. 

Complaints about Arndt receiving the Australia Day honour were referred to the Council of the Order of Australia in February, following widespread condemnation among sexual assault survivors and domestic violence prevention advocates.

Journalist Mike Carlton, who also drew heavy criticism for derogatory past remarks about women and Jewish people, will also keep his award.

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Shane Stone, who chairs the committee behind the Australia Day and Queen's Birthday awards, reviewed both decisions.

"The Council for the Order of Australia has considered requests for the cancellation of appointments to the Order of Australia of Ms Bettina Arndt AM and Mr Mike Carlton AM and will make no further recommendation to the governor-general," Mr Stone said in a statement on Friday.

"In a system that recognises the service of hundreds of people each year, it is inevitable that each list will include some people who others believe should not be recognised.

"Unanimous community approval is not a criteria for Council to make a recommendation."

Honours are generally only stripped from people convicted of crimes, and only after all their legal avenues for appeal are exhausted.

Awards can also be revoked when they are found to be based on false or misleading information.



Arndt attracted renewed scrutiny this year after comments she made about the aged under six. 

Several state and federal MPs had called for Arndt to be stripped of her award, which she received for her "significant service to the community as a social commentator and to gender equity through advocacy for men". 

was among those who took issue with Arndt's award, writing to Australia's Attorney-General David Hurley asking him to "consider cancellation" because she felt Ardnt's "views and activities diminish the devastating experiences of victim-survivors of family and sexual violence".

At the time, Arndt accused Ms Hennessey of “responding to muckraking from ideologues rather than seeking proper evidence".

Carlton’s award was referred to the Council of the Order of Australia for review after some of his previous remarks and social media posts came under fire, including from federal Liberal Party politicians.

In a 2019 tweet, he said he admired musician Jimmy Barnes for not strangling Liberal MP Nicolle Flint while the pair were on the ABC's QandA program.

Additional reporting by AAP. 

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, family or domestic violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit . In an emergency, call 000. 


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3 min read
Published 4 September 2020 at 7:01pm
By Emma Brancatisano