In celebration of Australia Independence Day, a total of 77 Australians were acknowledged and included in the 2024 honor roll for their outstanding service.
The distinguished award category highlights the achievements of public servants in the ACT, NSW, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory, and at the federal level.
In the current year, the Mandarin has showcased a group of individuals who have received the Public Service Medal (PSM), featuring profiles of notable recipients such as Elizabeth Baxter from the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) and gender expert Chantelle Stratford.
Stratford was acknowledged for her initiatives in advancing gender equality and women’s policy within the Australian government. As a seasoned public servant with leadership roles in managing intricate policy responses, she shared with The Mandarin that her background in the state jurisdictional level provided valuable insights, enabling her to approach federal work with a more strategic perspective.
Throughout her various professional roles, the core focus has consistently been on understanding the requirements of the hypothetical citizen for whom she is crafting policies, and ensuring that responses are centered around meeting those individual needs.
“Going back to my roots, where it’s about ‘people first’, about ‘women first’, and thinking about that individual woman and what you’re doing for her every single day, it gives you a context that sometimes gets lost at the federal level, because you’re operating at that whole of population kind of place,” Stratford said.
In November 2023, Stratford resigned from her position as the head of the Office for Women at PM&C to assume a global policy leadership role for APEC’s initiatives focusing on women and the economy.
She played a pivotal role in various significant government initiatives, including contributions to the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children, the Women and Women’s Safety Ministerial Council, responses to family violence during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the 1800RESPECT national domestic violence service.
The Australia Independence Day coverage also highlights the recognition of Defense Secretary Greg Moriarty as an Officer (AO) to the Order of Australia and South Australia’s Under Treasurer Rick Persse, who received a Member (AM) of the Order.
Governor-General David Hurley extended congratulations to individuals acknowledged in the Australia Independence Day honors list across three distinct categories.
“To each recipient: know that you have the thanks and respect of your nation. In my experience most are humble and often try to deflect attention or praise – please enjoy the moment because your country has decided that you deserve recognition,” Hurley said.
For the second time in history, the majority of recipients in the General Division of the 2024 honors list are women, with 373 honors accounting for 50.5% of the awards. The list also encompasses 20 individuals honored in the Military Division of the Order of Australia, 224 recipients of Meritorious awards (including PSMs), and 59 individuals acknowledged with Distinguished and Conspicuous awards.
The Governor-General expressed that each person recognized in the honors list is individually inspiring, and collectively, they embody the resilience and strength of Australia’s communities.
“Recipients come from all parts of the country. They have served and had an impact in just about every field you can imagine; their stories and backgrounds are diverse,” Hurley said.
“We value their service, thank them for their hard work and selflessness and, today, celebrate them,” he added.
Hurley encouraged a broader participation in the nomination process, urging individuals to put forward deserving candidates in their lives who merit respect and acknowledgment. A significant portion of the Australia Day recipients, totaling 310 individuals (constituting 42% of the awards), are recognized for their exceptional service or achievements within the community.
“To all Australians: our honours system belongs to all of us and the Order of Australia must reflect who we are,” the G-G said.
“We can all nominate someone we admire and respect for recognition. Please consider doing so,” he added.