Local heroes centre stage on Australia Day

Local heroes and community leaders have dominated this year's Australia Day honours, recognised in overwhelming numbers alongside famous entertainers, military figures and public officials.

From foster carers to vaccine rollout coordinators, directors, musicians and police chiefs, Australians from all walks of life are included in the list.

Prominent Australians have also featured in the annual honours, including the late Archie Roach, who received the nation's highest honour.

The singer-songwriter, who died in 2022, was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) for his work in the performing arts, as well as efforts in Indigenous rights and reconciliation.

Western Australian governor and the state's former police commissioner Chris Dawson was also given an AC, one of six people to receive the honoured this year, including former Queensland Labor senator Margaret Reynolds, who served in Bob Hawke's ministry.

The head of the national vaccine rollout, Lieutenant-General John Frewen, was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO).

He was one of 77 people included in a COVID-19 honour roll and recognised for their service during the pandemic.

Academic and historian Jenny Hocking, best known for her work on the Palace Papers, was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM).

Phillip Noyce, who has directed films including Rabbit-Proof Fence and Patriot Games, also received an AM, as did actor David Wenham.

TV chef Kylie Kwong was also honoured, as was Terry Blamey, the former manager of pop star Kylie Minogue.

Of the 736 honours handed out in this year's list, 48 per cent were awarded to women, the highest percentage of female recipients since the system began in 1975.

The high of 48 per cent was a slight increase from the 47 per cent set last year.

Governor-General David Hurley said ensuring honour recipients reflected the community's diversity was a priority.

"The recipients have had a significant impact at the local, national and international level and are, quite simply, inspiring," Mr Hurley said.

"It is encouraging to see an increase in diversity in the Order of Australia."

The youngest recipient was 37-years-old while the eldest was 102.

A further 30 people were awarded with a military division of the Order of Australia, while 217 received meritorious awards and 64 given distinguished and conspicuous awards.

Local leaders were singled out in this year's list, with more than 45 per cent of the general awards handed out for community service.

Among them were husband and wife Barbara and David Rugendyke, who were recognised for their work as foster carers.

The couple from Cobargo on the NSW south coast said they had always been driven to help vulnerable people.

"The happiness I get from the children is my motivation to continue with my work as a foster carer. I love the children," Mrs Rugendyke said.

Mr Rugendyke said he was proud to play a small part in bringing up the children.

"We are in contact with some of our foster children who have blossomed into beautiful adults," he said.