Ian Healy bowled over by Aus Day honours

Rob Forsaith
Former cricketer Ian Healy has been appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia

Ian Healy was emblematic of a golden era for Australian cricket but to thousands of Queensland families he is a legend thanks to his work with Aspirations4Kids in Sport.

Healy has been appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for distinguished service to cricket as a player, to the broadcast media and to the community.

The accolade is reflective of Healy's glove work in a career spanning 119 Tests and 168 ODIs, during which he helped transform what he terms a "a no-name team" into a juggernaut that toppled West Indies and "got into the hearts of Australian people".

"I saw the whole evolution of a successful era," Healy recalled, adding he was proud and honoured to receive an AO.

A wicketkeeper is often likened to a band's drummer.

Healy kept quiet the beat, his encouragement of Shane Warne becoming the national refrain throughout countless summers.

Healy remained part of the soundtrack of summer after retiring in 1999, joining the Nine Network as a commentator.

The 55-year-old was also president of the players' union, and has poured countless hours into Brisbane club Norths, the Bulls Masters program, and more recently Queensland Cricket's board.

The Ian Healy Foundation and Aspirations4Kids in Sport, a non-profit organisation that promotes sport and supports Queensland kids facing challenges of hardship, disabilities and chronic illness, has also kept him busy.

"These kids are performing under great adversity," Healy said.

"We help about 400 families a year and we're constantly looking to raise money and doing things in the hope we better some lives."

The contribution of Adam Voges (OAM for service to cricket), Darryl Brohman (OAM for service to rugby league) and Dr John Orchard (AM for significant service to sports medicine) were also recognised on Australia Day.