Media Release by The Hon Julie Collins MP

138 outstanding Australian women recognised

One hundred and thirty eight women have been honoured in the general division of the Order of Australia in the 2012 Australia Day Awards.

The Minister for the Status of Women, Julie Collins, today recognised the Australia Day award recipients for their contributions to the Australian community.

“The female recipients of this year’s Australia Day Honours are an inspiration to women across Australia,” Ms Collins said.

“I particularly congratulate The Honourable Justice Virginia Bell, who was appointed a Companion (AC) in the General Division of the Order of Australia.

“She has shown leadership as an advocate for people who are economically and socially disadvantaged.”

Five women were appointed an Officer (AO) in the General Division of the Order of Australia, including The Honourable Justice Diana Bryant for the advancement of women in the legal profession and Dr Rosemary Coates for service to the community in the field of reproductive and sexual health.

Ms Collins also congratulated a number of women who have taken a leadership role in promoting gender equality and women’s rights, particularly Rosalind Maybanke Strong, Dr Rhonda Sharp and Professor S Caroline Taylor who, along with 32 other women, were appointed a Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia.

“I am proud to see women being nominated and recognised for the important role they continue to play across all facets of Australian life,” Ms Collins said.

“The Gillard Government is committed to promoting gender equality for both women and men, as well as empowering women in Australia and overseas.

“Most of us know an outstanding woman and I urge all Australians to nominate a deserving female in next year’s Australia Day awards.”

Nomination forms for the Order of Australia are available by calling 1800 552 275 or on the Government’s website