Victorian women feature strongly in today’s 2019 Queen’s Birthday Order of Australia awards, with Sharan Burrow AC was awarded Companion of the Order – the highest Australian honour – for services to industrial relations at national and international levels and as a human rights champion in developing countries.
Ms Burrow was the second woman to be ACTU President and the first to be President of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions in the Asia Pacific. She led the move to extend paid maternity leave to 18 weeks.
Tireless campaigner and powerful advocate for the prevention of family violence Rosie Batty AO was one of 11 women awarded Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to the community.
Ms Batty has given voice to many thousands of victims by becoming a champion for family violence prevention and using her own personal experience and the tragic loss of her 11-year-old son Luke to lobby for change.
She is a member of the Victim Survivors Advisory Council, which places the voices of victim survivors at the heart of all Victorian reforms to the family violence prevention system. She is an inductee on the Victorian Honour Roll of Women and was 2015 Australian of the Year.
Other notable recipients include Carrie Bickmore OAM for services to broadcast media and brain cancer awareness, and Elizabeth Chong AM for services to the hospitality sector and promotion of Chinese cuisine.
The Andrews Labor Government recently launched the campaign ‘Recognition Matters’ to drive gender balance in the Australian Honours system and recognise the tremendous contributions made by Victorian women.
Of those Victorians awarded Australian Honours in the 2019 Queen’s Birthday Honours, 44 per cent are women, representing an eight per cent increase on the 2018 awards.
Gender parity was achieved in the award of the Companion of the Order while 11 Victorian women were awarded Officer of the Order of Australia, almost double the six awarded the honour in 2018.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Women, Gabrielle Williams
“We are so proud of all the Victorian women who’ve been honoured today for making the world a better place – especially our own Rosie Batty who has transformed the national conversation on family violence prevention.”
“Women have traditionally been under-represented in these awards, receiving fewer nominations and fewer honours. That’s something we’ve been working to change, and it’s great to see signs of progress this year.”