Gina Rinehart, Alan Finkel, Rod Sims lead Australia Day honours

By 25/01/2022News

Article by Michael Read courtesy of the Australian Financial Review.

Former chief scientist Alan Finkel, mining magnate Gina Rinehart and former ACCC chairman Rod Sims have been recognised in the Australia Day honours.

Gina Rinehart has been made an officer in the general division of the Order of Australia.

Business figures including investment banker John Wylie, Sonic Healthcare and Transurban director Jane Wilson and former Coca-Cola Amatil chief executive Alison Watkins also received honours.

Dr Finkel was among recipients of the highest award, made a companion of the Order of Australia. The former chief scientist was recognised for eminent service to science, to national energy innovation and research infrastructure capability, to climate change and COVID-19 response initiatives, and to science and engineering education.

Among other mandarins recognised were former Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Mr Sims and Australia’s chief statistician, David Gruen, who were both made officers in the general division of the Order of Australia.

Dr Gruen was recognised for distinguished service to public administration, economic research, business and education, and Mr Sims for his service to public administration in economic policy and regulatory roles.

National Disability Insurance Agency and National Portrait Gallery chairman Helen Nugent was made a companion of the Order of Australia for service to people with disability through leadership of social and economic policy reform and implementation, as well as to business, the arts and the community. Dr Nugent is also the chairman of Ausgrid and a non-executive director at TPG.

Ms Rinehart was made an officer in the general division of the Order of Australia. The mining magnate was recognised for distinguished service to the mining sector, to the community through philanthropic initiatives, and to sport as a patron.

Mr Wylie was made a companion of the Order of Australia in recognition for his eminent service to the community through leadership in the sporting, cultural, philanthropic and business sectors.

Ms Watkins was made a member of the general division of the Order of Australia in recognition for her significant service to business through leadership roles with a range of organisations. The former Coca-Cola Amatil managing director sits on the board of Wesfarmers, CSL and the Reserve Bank of Australia, in addition to her role as chancellor of the University of Tasmania.

Challenger chief financial officer Rachel Grimes was honoured for her service to business by being made a member in the general division, while former ASX chairman Rick Holliday-Smith was made a member in the general division for his service to business.

Sonic Healthcare and Transurban director Dr Wilson was honoured for her distinguished service to business, government, health and aged care, and to education by being made an officer in the general division.

Former Prime Media chairman and News Corporation Australia chief executive John Hartigan was made an officer in the general division for his service to the media industry, Indigenous welfare and sport.

Former NSW Rural Fire Service commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons was made an officer in the general division of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to the community through leadership roles within fire and emergency response organisations. Mr Fitzsimmons stepped down from his role at the RFS in 2020 after seeing NSW throughthe deadly Black Summer bushfires.

Former Australian Federal Police Commissioner Andrew Colvin was made an officer in the general division of the Order of Australia for his work in law enforcement, counterterrorism and bushfire recovery.

Actress Deborra-Lee Furness was made an officer in the general division for her work as an adoption advocate and to the arts.

Tennis champion Dylan Alcott was honoured for his work as a role model for people with disability and for his distinguished service to paralympic sport by being made an officer in the general division.

Celebrity chef Maggie Beer was made an officer in the general division in recognition of her service to the tourism and hospitality industries as a cook, restaurateur and author, as well as to aged welfare.

The Australian Financial Review’s Postcard from Tokyo contributor, Melanie Brock, was made a member in the general division for significant service to Australia-Japan relations.

She was joined by former Financial Review international editor Tony Walker who was made a member in the general division for his service to the media as a journalist and to the community.

Best year for women

The Council for the Order of Australia considered 1000 nominations and gave 732 honours.

Forty-seven per cent of honours went to women, which was the highest percentage of female Order of Australia recipients in an honours list since the system was introduced in 1975.

It follows a campaign to increase the number of women being put forward for national honours.

Governor-General David Hurley welcomed the new additions to the honours list.

“It has been a challenging couple of years and the recipients announced today are a reminder and reflection of the richness of spirit, selflessness and good in our community,” he said.

“The fact that the list includes the highest ever percentage of women is very encouraging and I look forward to this positive trend continuing. We will continue to increase awareness and encourage nominations for people from parts of our community that have been historically underrepresented.”