Nine Network newsreader Peter Overton (pictured), veteran performer Noeline Brown, transgender actor and activist Georgie Stone and TV presenter Johanna Griggs are among television identities to feature in this year’s Australia Day Honours List:
Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia (AO):
Ian Healy (AO) — “For distinguished service to cricket at the national and international level as a player, to the broadcast media, and to the community”. Healy was a cricket commentator for the Nine Network for 20 years, and currently with Fox Sports.
Keith Urban (AO) — “For distinguished service to the performing arts as a singer and songwriter, and to charitable organisations”. Urban was a judge on The Voice Australia in 2012 and American Idol from 2013 to 2016.
Hugo Weaving (AO) — “For distinguished service to the performing arts as an actor, and as a mentor of young writers, directors and film makers.” Television credits include Bodyline, Melba, The Dirtwater Dynasty, Bangkok Hilton, Bordertown and Seven Types of Ambiguity.
Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia (AM):
Paul Field (AM) — “For significant service to the arts, particularly to children’s entertainment, and as a supporter of charitable endeavours.” Field is managing director of the children’s entertainment group The Wiggles, producing 14 TV series and 42 videos.
Johanna Griggs (AM) — “For significant service to community health, to television, and to sport.” Griggs has been a host and sports commentator for the Seven Network for over 25 years, covering Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, Australian Open and Melbourne Cup broadcasts. Hosting credits include Sportsworld (with Bruce McAvaney, pictured), Better Homes And Gardens and House Rules.
Dr Gael Jennings (AM) — “For significant service to science, and to the broadcast media.” Jennings is a former reporter for ABC News, The 7.30 Report, Quantum and Catalyst and presenter on SBS program Insight. She also appears as a commentator on ABC News Breakfast.
Rachael Maza (AM) — “For significant service to the performing arts as an artistic director.” Maza’s TV acting credits include A Country Practice, Heartland, Seachange, Marshall Law, Rush, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, Winners And Losers, Wentworth and The Secret Daughter.
Paul Mercurio (AM) — “For significant service to the performing arts, particularly to dance.” Mercurio has been a judge on Dancing With The Stars in both Australia and New Zealand. Acting credits include Water Rats, Heartbreak High, The Day Of The Roses, Pig’s Breakfast, All Saints, Kick, Blue Heelers, City Homicide and Neighbours.
Heather Mitchell (AM) — “For significant service to the performing arts, and to the community.” Television credits include Bodyline, Seven Deadly Sins, A Country Practice, GP, Spellbinder (pictured), The Day Of The Roses, The Society Murders, All Saints, Power Games: The Packer-Murdoch Story, Da Kath & Kim Code, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries and A Place To Call Home.
Peter Overton (AM) — “For significant service to the broadcast media, and to the community.” Formerly a reporter for 60 Minutes, Overton went on to become a reporter and presenter for Nine News. He has been chief newsreader for Nine News, Sydney, since 2009.
Robert Penfold (AM) — “For significant service to the broadcast media, and to journalism.” Penfold has been a journalist since the 1970s, including over 30 years in foreign correspondent roles for the Nine Network.
Carol “Carlotta” Spencer (AM) — “For significant service to the performing arts, and to the LGBTIQ community. ” Carlotta is a member of the legendary revue Les Girls. She appeared in ’70s soap Number 96 (pictured) and as a panellist on daytime programs Beauty And The Beast and, more recently, Studio 10.
Medal of the Order of Australia in the General Division (OAM):
Darryl Brohman (OAM) — “For service to rugby league.” Brohman is a former host of The Footy Show (NRL).
Noeline Brown (OAM) — “For service to the performing arts as an actor and entertainer. ” Television credits include Homicide, The Mavis Bramston Show, My Name’s McGooley What’s Yours, The Fourth Wish, The Naked Vicar Show, Blankety Blanks, Daily At Dawn, Kingswood Country, Dancing With The Stars and Stop Laughing… This Is Serious.
John Cootes (OAM) — “For service to the community, particularly to social welfare organisations.” Cootes was a former presenter on Eyewitness News and Saturday Night Live in Sydney in the 1970s and early 1980s.
Maude Davey (OAM) — “For service to the performing arts, particularly as an artistic director.” Television credits include Summer Heights High, The Slap, Tangle, Offspring, Sisters and Bad Mothers.
Mary Kenneally (OAM) — “For service to the performing arts.” Kenneally appeared in 1980s comedy shows Ratbags and Australia You’re Standing In It.
John Lo Piccolo (OAM) — “For service to the performing arts.” A child performer in the 1960s, Lo Piccolo became better known as pop star John St Peeters (pictured) in the 1970s, winning a TV Week King Of Pop Award for Most Popular New Talent. He appeared on Countdown and Sounds and hosted his own variety show, The John St Peeters Show, on SBS. He also recorded the theme song to Simon Townsend’s Wonder World.
John McCoy (OAM) — “For service to the broadcast media, and to the community.” McCoy is a former sports commentator for the Nine Network and Fox Sports.
Eric Scott (OAM) — “For service to the performing arts in Queensland. ” Journalist, author and playwright Scott was head writer for TV Week from 1970 to 1976.
Katrina Sedgwick (OAM) — “For service to performing, screen, and visual arts administration.” Currently the Director and CEO of the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), Sedgwick is a former actor with credits including A Country Practice and E Street, and board member of the Australian Film Television and Radio School, Australian Children’s Television Foundation and chair of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation Arts Council.
Georgie Stone (OAM) — “For service to the trans and gender diverse community. ” A former Victorian Young Australian Of The Year, transgender activist Stone appeared in the ABC Me series Advice To My 12-Year-Old Self. She has more recently starred as a transgender student in Neighbours and its online spin-off Erinsborough High.
Kate Torney (OAM) — “For service to the broadcast media, and to the cultural sector. ” Torney was Director of News for ABC from 2009 to 2015 and founding executive producer of Insiders and Offsiders.
Jane Turner (OAM) — “For service to the performing arts as a writer, actor and comedian.” Television acting credits include Prisoner, The D-Generation, Fast Forward, Full Frontal, Bligh, Big Girl’s Blouse, Something Stupid, Open Slather and Rake. She is co-creator (with Gina Riley, pictured) and cast member of Kath & Kim, including Da Kath & Kim Code and movie Kath & Kimderella.