Since 1975, Australia (independent of Britain) has honored many of its citizens on the 26th of January. This year 405 Medals of the Order of Australia were awarded for “service worthy of particular recognition.” The Member of the Order of Australia is also awarded for “service in a particular locality or field of activity or to a particular group.” 129 were awarded this year.
We are pleased that at least one librarian, Liz Ellis, received an OAM for her work within the State Library of NSW. June Smith, received one for her work in promoting children’s literature, especially through the CBC, and Jean Ferguson, bookseller, reviewer, educator, and promoter of children’s and adult literature, received one for her contribution to libraries, teacher librarianship and reading promotion. We congratulate them heartily and thank them mightily for the generosity of their time and energy.
So that is at least three associated with books and reading. Perhaps you can find more. You can search the Awards data base yourself.
Meanwhile, take a guess how many sports-associated people received an OAM? 75.
As stated on the Honours website, “Australian honours are unique in that they were designed for the community to make nominations. The Australian honours system is free of patronage or political influence. Anyone can nominate an Australian citizen for an honour.”
Is this a clear demonstration, then, of what it is we ordinary Australian citizens honour in Australia? Or are these honours out of step with common values? Who might you nominate for next year’s OAMs??