Daniel Andrews, Mark McGowan recognised in King’s Birthday honour list

Daniel Andrews, Mark McGowan recognised in King’s Birthday honour list

Former long-serving Labor premiers Daniel Andrews and Mark McGowan have been recognised in this year’s King’s Birthday honours list.

The duo were both appointed to the Order of Australia as Companions – the highest award in the order – and were two of 737 people on this year’s honours list.

Also recognised were incoming governor-general Samantha Mostyn, Test cricket great Glenn McGrath, late former opposition leader Simon Crean, and presenter Hamish Blake.

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Andrews, who was Victorian premier for nine years before resigning last year, was recognised for his “eminent service to the people and Parliament of Victoria, to public health, to policy and regulatory reform, and to infrastructure development”.

McGowan also called time on a highly successful career in state politics in 2023 after six years as premier. He was made a Companion of the Order of Australia “for eminent service to the people and Parliament of Western Australia, to public health and education, and to international trade relations”.

The two former premiers attracted both fervent support and intense criticism for their stringent approaches to lockdowns and border closures during the pandemic.

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“I would like to congratulate all those recognised in today’s honours list,” Governor-General David Hurley said.

“Some names are well-known, but the vast majority are not – they are people who work tirelessly and selflessly to make a difference in our community.”

“Through today’s recognition we shine a light on their efforts, the impact they have and the difference they make. 

“On behalf of all Australians, I thank recipients for their service and congratulate them on their recognition.

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Today’s is the last honours list Hurley will oversee, and his replacement, businesswoman Samantha Mostyn, was among the recipients for a wide range of achievements, ranging from social justice and gender equity to reconciliation and environmental sustainability.

Former federal Labor leader and union figure Simon Crean, who died last year, was also made a Companion of the Order of Australia.

He held a seat in federal parliament for more than 20 years, serving in the cabinet of prime ministers Bob Hawke, Paul Keating, Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard, but was perhaps best known for his strident resistance to Australia’s involvement in the War in Iraq during a two-year stint as opposition leader.

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Away from politics, former Australian cricket star Glenn McGrath was made an Officer of the Order of Australia for his work in raising awareness of and funding for breast cancer treatment through his McGrath Foundation.

The foundation was established by McGrath and his first wife, Jane, who was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1997, aged 31. She died in 2008. 

The New South Welshman, who held the world record for the most Test wickets by a fast bowler when he retired from the game in 2007, was also recognised for his services to cricket as an international coach – even though he’s never coached a national team.

Three-time AFL premiership winner Bachar Houli also made the honours list for his role in the Islamic community and for promoting multiculturalism, as did comedians Hamish Blake and Jimmy Rees for “service to the arts as an entertainer, and to the community”.

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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