The retiring Governor of New South Wales, Marie Bashir, has been made a Dame in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
Bashir, 83, has been Governor of NSW since 2001. She is to retire soon and be replaced by General David Hurley.
Bashir is the second Dame announced by the Abbott government. The former Governor-General, Quentin Bryce, became a Dame on the day she relinquished the position in March.
In other honours, the former Labor MP and Minister in the Hawke government, Barry Jones has been made a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC), the highest honour beneath a knighthood. Jones was a Victorian State MP before entering federal parliament as the Member for Lalor in 1977. He was Minister for Science from 1983 until 1990. He retired from parliament in 1998 and was succeeded in Lalor by Julia Gillard.
The NSW Chief Justice, Tom Bathurst, and the former Tasmanian Chief Justice, Ewan Crawford, have received an ACs, as has Les Carlyon, the journalist and writer.
The former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Harry Jenkins, receives an Order of Australia (AO). Other politicians to receive the AO are: Stewart Macarthur (former Liberal member for Corangamite) and John Watson (former Liberal Senator for Tasmania).
Professors Des Ball and Hugh White received the AO, as did every member of The Seekers.
Men received 393 awards in the Honours List, or 68.8%. Women received 178 awards, or 31.2%.
Statement from Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
Her Excellency Professor The Honourable Marie Bashir AC CVO
Her Majesty the Queen has accepted my recommendation that Her Excellency Professor The Honourable Marie Bashir AC CVO be awarded Australia’s highest honour, Dame in the Order of Australia.
This honour recognises a lifetime of achievement for Dame Marie in the fields of psychiatry, tertiary education, indigenous issues, public administration and as the Governor of New South Wales.
Her Excellency has brought warmth, compassion and grace to Australia’s oldest public office.
She has been an advocate for the disadvantaged and marginalised in the community, particularly those with mental illness.
Her contribution has also lifted the quality of health care in the Asia Pacific region, training and inspiring many medical practitioners to provide life changing health care to so many.
She has given dedicated service as Chancellor of the University of Sydney and is patron to more than 370 organisations.
Dame Marie is currently the longest serving Vice-Regal representative in Australia and has served as Administrator of the Government of the Commonwealth of Australia during absences of the Governor-General.
Her term as Governor of New South Wales ends in October 2014.
Along with her husband Sir Nicholas Shehadie AC OBE, I am sure she will continue to make a positive contribution to Australian public life.