Media Release by The Hon Tanya Pibersek MP

2009 Australia Day honours list highlights inspirational women

The 2009 Australia Day Honours list acknowledged 199 inspirational Australian women, including two of the three Companions (AC) in the General Division of the Order of Australia.

Lessing Faith Bandler of NSW received an AC for her work advancing human rights and social justice including distinguished service to women’s issues and raising public awareness of the cultural heritage of South Sea Islanders.

Victorian Marilyn Darling’s range of philanthropic endeavours and service to the development of visual arts in Australia and internationally, particularly through the National Portrait Gallery, was also recognised with an AC.

Four women were appointed as an Officer (AO) in the General Division of the Order of Australia, including Professor Lynda Beazley for service to medical science, particularly in brain-related research, and for her contribution to the development of science policy in Western Australia.

Professor Julianne Schultz’s service as a journalist, writer, editor and academic, fostering debate on issues affecting society, and to professional ethics and accountability earned her appointment as a Member (AM) in the General Division, one of 33 women recognised in this award.

There were also 128 women awarded a Medal (OAM) in the General Division, including Claudia Keech for her work raising awareness of issues surrounding the roles of women in the workforce and at home.

Dennise Simpson was also awarded an OAM for service to the protection of women and children living with abuse and violence, and Rosemary Skelly the same award for her service to the Redland region through a range of welfare, health and service organisations.

These women are just a few who have been acknowledged for their outstanding contribution to communities, at a local, national and international level.

Our country is a better place because of their service and I hope their achievements and recognition inspires other women and girls to work hard to make a difference.