Congratulations to the incredible Australians recognised for their service to society in the 2019 Queen's Birthday Honours list. We are thrilled that a number of Saxton Speakers have had their tireless contributions celebrated.
Ita Buttrose, the founding editor of Cleo and current chair of ABC, was made a companion of the Order of Australia (AC) - the highest civilian award under the Australian honours system. The honour recognises Ita's distinguished service to the community through leadership, the arts, the health sector and as a role model.
Marita Cheng is the founder and CEO of aubot, which makes a telepresence robot, Teleport, for kids with cancer in hospital to attend school, people with a disability to attend work and to monitor and socialise with elderly people.
Marita was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for significant service to science and technology, particularly to robotics.
Li Cunxin, Artistic Director of the Queensland Ballet and author of Mao's Last Dancer, was made a Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for his service to the performing arts. Li’s story is a living example of overcome adversity and achieve excellence in life.
Natasha Stott Despoja has been awarded an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for distinguished service to the global community as an advocate for gender equality.
Natasha was a director of Beyond Blue, is an ambassador for women and girls and a member of the United Nations High Level Working Group on Health and Human Rights.
She is now the chair of Our Watch, a national foundation working to prevent violence against women and their children.
Natasha used the platform to reinforce her, 'message always to women - regardless of age or background - is one of sisterhood,” she said. “Working together to support each other to build a kinder, fairer and more respectful world should of course be everyone’s goal.'
Leading Australian economist and diplomat, Dr Geoff Raby, was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for his distinguished service to Australia-China relations through senior diplomatic roles, and to multilateral trade policy development.
Johnathan Thurston is widely regarded as the greatest Rugby League player of all time. He is the first ever four-time Dally M Medalist for the NRL season's best player, and three-time winner of the Golden Boot Award for the World's best player.
He has founded and launched the JTAcademy, of which is he now the Managing Director, which provides a forum that encourages Australian youth to access the educational and vocational resources needed to secure meaningful employment.
Johnahtan was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for significant service to rugby league, and as a role model.
Elizabeth Chong, a multi award media personality, Celebrity Chef, author and teacher, is one of the most enduring personalities of the Australian Food Industry. Elizabeth was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for significant service to the hospitality sector, and to the promotion of Chinese cuisine.
Chong was suprised and moved by the honour, 'When I opened it I was a bit overwhelmed. I immediately thought of my parents – my mum and dad who are no longer with me, and I wish they could have known. I had a few tears when I realised what had happened.'
Olympic aerial skier Alisa Camplin Warner was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for significant service to the community through support for paediatric health care.
After losing her first child to Congenital Heart Disease, Camplin turned adversity into opportunity and established the charity Finnan’s Gift, raising over $2.5M for cardiac care at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, where she is now also a Company Director.
Other Australians celebrated on this year's list include The Hon Kevin Rudd, who was awarded Australia's highest civilian honour, a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC), for eminent service to the Parliament of Australia, particularly as Prime Minister, to Indigenous reconciliation, innovative economic initiatives and major policy reform, and through senior advisory roles with international organisations.
Carrie Bickmore, who was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for service to the broadcast media, and to brain cancer awareness.
Guy Sebastian who was awarded made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for distinguished service to the music industry and charitable initiatives.
Johnathan Thurston who was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for significant service to rugby league, and as a role model.