The West

Queen honours community heroes
Samina Yasmeen has been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday 2014 Honours list as a Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia for services to industrial relations as an academic, adviser and social welfare advocate. Picture: Lincoln Baker/The West Australian

An iconic Australian band, a beloved television veterinarian and the couple behind the Lonely Planet travel books are among those recognised in today's Queen's Birthday Honours.

Most of the 783 Australians to make the annual list could walk down the street without being recognised as the behind-the-scenes educators, judges, community workers and researchers who have shaped their communities.

Governor-General Peter Cosgrove said the awards were about recognising "the personal efforts of individuals, made willingly, without thought of recognition or recompense".

"Recipients now join the company of men and women whose actions have enriched our community and whose values we hold dear - compassion, dedication, generosity, tolerance, energetic ambition," he said.

Order of Australia Council chairman Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston said the awards recognised those whose achievements "enhance national identity".


"These awards also recognise the 'quiet achievers' in our midst," he said. "They are people who serve the community but do not seek accolades."

Seven people received the country's top honour - the Companion in the Order of Australia - among them NSW Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Bathurst, CSIRO chief executive Megan Clark and London-based medical researcher Professor Marc Feldmann.

Four West Australians have been appointed Officers in the general division of the Order of Australia - WA Football Commission chairman Frank Cooper, UnitingCare West chief executive Susan Ash, former WA Nationals leader Hendy Cowan and Emeritus Professor Ian Ritchie.

Andrew Harper, the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR's representative to Jordan, is a Member of the Order of Australia.

Former Telstra boss Ziggy Switkowski and composer Carl Vine, who was born in Perth but no longer calls WA home, were also recognised.


University of WA Professor Samina Yasmeen, who has earned a reputation as one of the country's foremost researchers and commentators on Muslim identity, said she felt "humbled" to be among those West Australians to be named a Member of the Order of Australia.

The director of UWA's Centre for Muslim States and Societies said she was motivated by the prospect of making the world a better place.

"I am blessed to have been born to a mother in Pakistan who valued her daughters' education, to have been educated, married to a wonderful husband and teaching in one of the best universities in Australia," she said.

"I want to share what I have got over the years.

"The world doesn't change in a day but if everyone just stays quiet and doesn't share with others, then the time it takes to change is going to be longer."

Other high-profile Australians to be acknowledged include popular television vet Cooper (OAM), veteran journalist Mike Munro (AM), Lonely Planet founders Maureen and Tony Wheeler (AO) and all four members of Seekers (AO).

The West Australian

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