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Seven Former Politicians Awarded Australia Day Honours: Downer, Uren Receive AC

Tom Uren, Alexander Downer and five other former politicians have received awards in the Australia Day Honours list announced today.

UrenUren and Downer both become Companions (AC) in the General Division. It is the highest honour that can be awarded. Two other men, The Reverend Professor James Mitchell Haire AM and Professor Brian Paul Schmidt also received an AC.

Alexander Downer was Foreign Minister in the Howard government between 1996 and 2007. He was the Liberal member for Mayo in South Australia, serving in 9 parliaments between 1984 and 2008. In 1994-95, he was Liberal leader and Leader of the Opposition, a position he relinquished to John Howard in January 1995.

Tom Uren (left) was Minister for Urban and Regional Development in the Whitlam goverment between 1972 and 1975. In 1983 he became Minister for Territories and Local Government in the Hawke government. From 1984 until 1987, he was Minister for Local Government and Administrative Services. He served in 13 parliaments as the member for Reid between 1958 and 1990.

Uren is one of 12 surviving ministers from the Whitlam era. At 91, he is the second oldest of the surviving ministers. Whitlam is 96.

Four former politicians received an AM, a Member in the General Division.

John Aquilina, the Labor member for the NSW Legislative Assembly seats of Blacktown and Riverstone between 1981 and 2011, served as a minister in the Wran and Unsworth governments between 1986 and 1988. He was also a minister in the Carr government from 1995 to 2003. He became Speaker of the Legislative Assembly in 2003 and served until 2007. He retired at the 2011 election.

Robert Fordham was the Labor member for Footscray in the Victorian Legislative Assembly between 1970 and 1992. He was Deputy Premier from 1982 until 1989. He also served as Education Minister and later as Industry Minister.

Jane Lomax-Smith was the Labor member for Adelaide in the South Australian House of Assembly from 2002 until 2010. She held the Education ministry and a number of other portfolios in the Rann government. She lost her seat in the 2010 state election.

Bill Wood was a Labor member of the ACT Legislative Assembly between 1989 and 2004. He held a number of ministerial portfolios in that time. He was previously a member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly.

One former politician has become a Member (OAM) in the General Division.

Malcolm Kerr was the Liberal member for Cronulla in the NSW Legislative Assembly between 1984 and 2011.

This is the complete list of recipients of Australia Day Honours.

ORDER OF AUSTRALIA

COMPANION (AC) IN THE GENERAL DIVISION

The Honourable Alexander John Downer, SA. For eminent service to the Parliament of Australia through the advancement of international relations and foreign policy, particularly in the areas of security, trade and humanitarian aid, and to the community of South Australia.

The Reverend Professor James Mitchell Haire AM, ACT. For eminent service to the community through international leadership in ecumenical and interfaith dialogue, the promotion of religious reconciliation, inclusion and peace, and as a theologian.

Professor Brian Paul Schmidt, Sutton, NSW. For eminent service as a global science leader in the field of physics through research in the study of astronomy and astrophysics, contributions to scientific bodies and the promotion of science education.

The Honourable Tom Uren AO, Balmain, NSW. For eminent service to the community, particularly through contributions to the welfare of veterans, improved medical education in Vietnam and the preservation of sites of heritage and environmental significance. [Read more…]