Network Ten‘s National Affairs editor Paul Bongiorno has been appointed a member of the Order of Australia (AM) in today’s Australia Day Honours.
Bongiorno received recognition for his significant service to the print and broadcast media as a journalist, political commentator and editor.
In a career that started with the Seven Network in 1974, Bongiorno has been with Network Ten for over 30 years, including nine years based in Brisbane where he also had an early stint as weather presenter.
A four-time Walkley Award winner and former host of Meet The Press, Bongiorno recently celebrated 25 years in the Canberra Press Gallery.
Network Ten CEO Hamish McLennan paid tribute to Bongiorno’s achievement:
“Paul is an outstanding force in Australian political reporting and the media industry and I am delighted to see him recognised for his passion and commitment to the trade.
“Paul has reported from the centre of Australian politics for four decades, where his expert analysis on the events, stories and characters that shape this country have seen him awarded four coveted Walkley Awards. His integrity, professionalism and storytelling ability sets an example to all in the industry and he is held in the highest regard by those he has worked with over the years.
“We are privileged to have had him as part of the Ten Eyewitness News team for more than 30 years and I am sure that everyone in politics and the media will be pleased that he has been recognised with this honour.”
Also among the hundreds of Australians recognised in this year’s honours:
Rhonda Burchmore — “For service to the performing arts, and to the community.” Burchmore’s television appearances have included Carols By Candlelight, Spicks And Specks, Hey Hey It’s Saturday, Dancing With The Stars, Good Morning Australia, Da Kath And Kim Code, The Flying Doctors and the TV Week Logie Awards.
James Davern — “For service to television as a writer, director and producer.” Davern was a producer of ABC dramas including Bellbird, Rush and Patrol Boat before he created and produced the long-running series A Country Practice for the Seven and Ten networks. He was inducted into the TV Week Logie Awards Hall of Fame in 1991.
Rob Gell — “For significant service to conservation, to the protection of coastal and marine environments, and to the community.” Gell is a former weather presenter for Melbourne channels ATV10, GTV9 and HSV7 and also appeared on national programs including Live At Five.
Barry Hall — “For service to the community as an entertainer and radio announcer.” Hall was a presenter and music director for NWS9, Adelaide, in the 1950s and 1960s, working on programs including Here’s Humphrey, The Channel Niners and Stars Of Tomorrow.
Dr Peter Harries — “For service to the media industry as a television entertainer and producer, and to the community.” Dr Harries was a longtime producer and presenter at STW9, Perth. He also appeared regularly on the annual Telethon and Appealathon specials for Perth channels TVW7 and STW9. In 2005 he completed a thesis, From Local ‘Live’ Production Houses to Relay Stations – A History of Commercial Television in Perth, Western Australia 1958-1990.
Nancye Hayes — “For significant service to the performing arts, particularly musical theatre, as an actor, choreographer and director.” Hayes’ television credits include Home And Away, Blue Heelers, GP, Rafferty’s Rules, The Dismissal, The Last Bastion, The Girl From Tomorrow and Spicks And Specks.
Lyndey Milan — “For service to hospitality, particularly the food and wine industry, and to the community.” Milan was a presenter of Fresh for the Nine Network and co-hosted the food/travel series Lyndey And Blair’s Taste of Greece.
Drew Morphett — “For service to sport as a radio and television commentator, broadcaster and presenter.” Morphett has been a sports commentator since the 1980s, working for ABC radio and television and covering sports including AFL and Olympic Games for the Seven Network.
Barry O’Brien — “For service to the community through a variety of charitable organisations, and to the media industry.” O’Brien is a former Chief Sales Officer for the Ten Network.
James Reyne — “For service to the performing arts as a singer/songwriter, and through support for a range of charitable organisations.” Reyne had a stint as an actor, playing a leading role in the 1983 mini-series Return To Eden and also appeared in the 1997 series State Coroner.
Geoffrey Rush — “For eminent service to the arts as a theatre performer, motion picture actor and film producer, as a role model and mentor for aspiring artists, and through support for, and promotion of, the Australian arts industry.” Television credits include Menotti, Mercury, Twisted, Lowdown and Kath And Kim. Rush is also a former Australian Of The Year.
Jacki Weaver — “For distinguished service to the performing arts as an actor and entertainer, as a supporter of social welfare organisations, and as a role model and mentor to young performers.” Now working in the US, Weaver’s Australian TV credits span almost 50 years, including Be Our Guest, Division 4, Matlock Police, The Last Of The Australians, Alvin Purple, Water Under The Bridge, The Challenge, House Rules and Satisfaction. She has also appeared on programs including Blankety Blanks, Spicks And Specks, Enough Rope With Andrew Denton, Q&A, The Circle and Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.
Source: Governor General of Australia