Australia

Women lead the way, making history in Queen’s honours list

ABC chair Ita Buttrose is among the women receiving the Companion of the Order of Australia in 2019. (AAP)

This year's Queen's Birthday Honours has the highest percentage of women ever included in the award list, making up 40 per cent of recipients.

The Queen's Birthday Honours are set to make history this year, with the highest percentage of women ever on the recipient list.

Women make up 40 per cent of recipients across all tiers of the awards, including five out of the 12 people receiving the top honour, the Companion of the Order of Australia (AC).

They include ABC chair Ita Buttrose and former union boss Sharan Burrow.

ABC chair Ita Buttrose has been appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia.
ABC chair Ita Buttrose has been appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia.
AAP

It's the last honours list for outgoing Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove, who has led a push in recent years encouraging people to nominate more women for awards like the Queen's Birthday Honours and Australia Day awards.

"We would all welcome higher recognition of magnificent Australian women," he said.

"These awards are our opportunity to say to fellow Australians, 'thank you - without you and your tireless service we wouldn't be the community or nation that we are'.

"Some names on today's list are well known. Many more are known only to those they help and serve day-in-day-out. They are all wonderful people and are all worthy of recognition and celebration."

There are 993 Australians in the general division, while 221 people are receiving meritorious and military awards.

The oldest recipient on the Honours list is 99 years old and the youngest is 18.

Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove, who has led a push in recent years encouraging people to nominate more women.
Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove, who has led a push in recent years encouraging people to nominate more women.
AAP

All awardees will receive their honours at ceremonies around the country in coming months.

Former Labor prime minister Kevin Rudd and Hollywood star Hugh Jackman are set to receive the top honour, with Mr Rudd dedicating his to indigenous Australians.

"These first Australians are the oldest continuing civilisations on earth, and for those of us who have arrived in recent centuries, it is a privilege to share this vast and ancient continent with them," he said.

Recipients appointed Officers of the Order of Australia (AO) include former Democrats senator turned domestic violence prevention advocate Natasha Stott Despoja, former top diplomat Geoff Raby and ex-Liberal minister and senator Nick Minchin.

Domestic violence advocate Rosie Batty has been appointed as an officer in the Order of Australia.
Domestic violence advocate Rosie Batty has been appointed as an officer in the Order of Australia.
AAP

Other awardees include ballet dancer Cunxin Li, actor Sigrid Thornton, former Australian of the year Rosie Batty and former NT chief minister Clare Martin.

Actor Eric Bana will become a Member of the Order of Australia (AM), along with journalists Jane Caro and Leigh Sales , as well as singer Guy Sebastian.

Natasha Stott-Despoja.
Natasha Stott-Despoja.
AAP

Creators of fashion label sass & bide, Sarah-Jane Clarke and Heidi Middleton, will also add AM to their names, as will News Corp group executive and AAP chairman Campbell Reid and rugby league figures Johnathan Thurston and Cameron Smith.

THE QUEEN'S BIRTHDAY HONOURS LIST

- There are 993 Australians in the general division

- Companions of the Order (AC): 12

- Officers of the Order (AO): 69

- Members of the Order (AM): 319

- Medals (OAM): 593

- Meritorious and military awards: 221

- There are 395 women receiving awards, 40 per cent of the list

- Males are receiving 598 awards

- The oldest recipient is 99 while the youngest is 18

HIGH-PROFILE RECIPIENTS

- Former prime minister Kevin Rudd AC

- Former ACTU president Sharan Burrow AC

- ABC chair Ita Buttrose AC

- Actor Hugh Jackman AC

- Former Democrats senator Natasha Stott Despoja AO

- Former Australian of the year Rosie Batty AO

- ABC journalist Leigh Sales AM

- News Corp group executive Campbell Reid AM

- Former Kangaroos captain Cameron Smith AM

- Rugby league legend Johnathan Thurston AM

- Former Wallabies captain Stephen Moore AM

- Actor Eric Bana AM

- Singer Guy Sebastian AM

- Novelist Di Morrissey AM

- Project presenter Carrie Bickmore OAM

- Savage Garden musician Darren Hayes OAM

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