COVID-19 champions among Queen’s Birthday Honours recipients 

Published Monday, 14 June, 2021 at 08:04 AM

Premier and Minister for Trade
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

Among 157 inspirational Queenslanders who have made the 2021 Queen’s Birthday Honours List, seven have received an extra commendation in recognition of their contribution to Australia’s pandemic response.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk congratulated the state’s impressive lineup of recipients, whose hard work and dedication kept Queensland on a firm footing throughout a very challenging year.

“Every day, everywhere I go, I see the extraordinary efforts these men and women have made to keep our communities safe, the economy moving, young people learning and our sport, science and arts sectors flourishing,” the Premier said.

“It’s no surprise that more than 40 per cent of the 1190 awards bestowed nationally this year are for outstanding service or achievement in the community.

“I’m delighted to see the highest number of women recognised in the Australian honours system’s 46-year history.

“From church leaders, aged welfare advocates and public administrators to medical educators and researchers, law practitioners and arts workers - the Queenslanders included in this year’s list have profoundly contributed to the health, wellbeing, prosperity and progress of our great State.”

The Most Reverend Dr Phillip Aspinall is one of five Australians appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC).

The Archbishop of Brisbane has been recognised for his eminent service to the Anglican Church of Australia and his development of ecumenical relationships and professional standards. 

“I congratulate Dr Aspinall on receiving this highest of honours for his decades of distinguished service and leadership and unwavering commitment to social justice and welfare,” the Premier said.

Two Public Service Medal recipients, Dr Deborough MacBeth and Ms Annette Scott, have been recognised for their outstanding public service to community health in Queensland.

Dr MacBeth established Queensland’s first fever clinic at the Gold Coast Hospital and Ms Scott has been a silver commander for the COVID-19 response on the Darling Downs. 

The other five Queenslanders to make the inaugural COVID-19 honour roll are:

  • Members (AM) in the General Division, Professor Sabina Knight for significant service to rural and remote health, nursing and education, and Mr Anthony Cochrane for significant service to sports administration and to entertainment production
  • Members (OAM) in the General Division, Mr Beny Aterdit Bol, for service to youth, and Mrs Rita Hillier, for service to the community through the Anglican Church of Australia
  • Australian Corrections Medal recipient, Ms Lucy Rockett.

Queenslanders are encouraged to nominate outstanding members of their community, including COVID-19 champions, for an Order of Australia year-round, with the Council for the Order of Australia meeting twice a year to consider nominations.

The nomination form for the Order of Australia, as well as a complete list of the 2021 Queen’s Birthday Honours recipients, is available on the Governor-General’s website at