Australia Day 2024 – Australia honours its people

Australia wakes up on its national day faced with hundreds of people who have received deserved rewards for their contribution to the nation. The Voice of the Maltese carefully goes through the lists of those honoured in search of Maltese-born, those of Maltese descent or even those with some connection with our islands.

It is not always easy to identify them unless they are indicated as such in their official citation.

The Voice contacted Ms Nicole Oborne OAM from Caroline Springs, Melbourne (See photo). She was honoured for service to the financial sector, and to the community. Amongst others, she was vice-President, Maltese Community Council of Victoria, 2018-2019 and Volunteer with Klabb Għannejja Maltin, from 1998 to date. She is Australian-born, the daughter of George and Nina Aquilina formerly of Ħal Qormi Malta. George Aquilina is the President of the Club Għannejja Maltin in Melbourne.

Nicole Oborne OAM

Others that we noted with with connections to Malta are:

Dr Dorothy Erickson AM, from Cottesloe, who received her award for significant service to jewellery design, and to the arts in Western Australia. She has had representation in National and International Public Collections, at locations that include; Germany, United States, Switzerland, Malta and London. She also had solo exhibitions From the Sea Shore at St James Cavalier Centre for Creativity, Valletta, Malta in 2005 and Australian Littoral at The National Fine Arts Museum, Valletta, Malta also in 2005.

Dr Margaret Mary O’Donnell OAM from Templestowe Victoria who was honoured for service to education, and to the community. We noted that she is currently a fundraiser, Southeast Region with The Order of Malta.

For the second consecutive Honours list, the majority of recipients in the General Division are women. This list also includes 49 Australians recognised for their contribution in support of Australia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These individuals will also be included in an ongoing and permanent COVID-19 Honour roll.

General DAvid Hurley GC, Governor-General of Australia

General David Hurley, Governor-General of Australia announced Honours and Awards for 1,042 Australians. He congratulated the outstanding Australians recognised in the Honours List saying “Recipients have made a difference and had an impact at the local, national and/or international level. Individually, they are inspiring and collectively they speak to the strength of our 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. We value their service, thank them for their hard work and selflessness and, today, celebrate them.

“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. To all Australians: our honours system belongs to all of us and the Order of Australia must reflect who we are. We can all nominate someone we admire and respect for recognition. Please consider doing so,” the Governor-General said.

Recipients announced in the list will be invested with their awards in the coming months, either by the Governor-General at Government House in Canberra or by the State Governors or Administrator of the Northern Territory.

2024 Australians of the Year: (L-R) Professors Richard Scolyer AO & Georgina Long AO, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, David Elliott OAM, Emma McKeon AM and Yalmay Yunupiŋu. Photo: australianoftheyear.org.au

The Australian of the Year awards have also been announced. They are:
2024 Australian of the Year – Professor Georgina Long AO & Professor Richard Scolyer AO (NSW) – melanoma treatment pioneers
2024 Senior Australian of the Year – Yalmay Yunupiŋu (NT) – teacher, linguist and community leader
2024 Young Australian of the Year – Emma McKeon AM (QLD) – olympian
2024 Australia’s Local Hero – David Elliott OAM (QLD) – co-founder, Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum of Natural History

*updated 27 January 2024 with Australian of the Year awards

By Lawrence Dimech

OAM, MOM, JP

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