National News

Dedicated, committed, selfless—Victorians recognised in Australia Day 2020 honours

Sunday 26 January 2020

Communications Office

“Dedicated, committed, selfless — the people recognised today are outstanding and exemplify the best of Australia,” Governor-General David Hurley said in announcing the recipients of this year's Australia Day honours.

Australian Honours and Awards recognise the outstanding service and contributions of Australians. This year's list contains 1099 awards. Recipients come from right across the country and from all walks of life. While some well-known people receive awards, many more are known only to those they help and serve day-in-day-out.

"The Australian Honours and Awards system provides the people of Australia the opportunity to recognise and say 'thank you' to those whose efforts make our communities and our nation a better place," Governor-General Hurley said.
"Perhaps the best part of the Australian system is that it is 100% nomination based. All people that receive awards have been nominated by their peers. This means that it doesn’t matter who you are, where you are from or whether you’re known to millions or just a few. If you have constantly put others ahead of yourself, served tirelessly and made a difference you can be nominated and recognised by a grateful nation."

Almost 45 per cent of awards (375 in total) were for outstanding service or achievement in the community. The oldest recipient in the list is 97 years old. The youngest recipient is 19 years old.
A number of Victorians have been appointed Member of the Order of Australia, the AM. These include:

Professor Pauline Margaret Nugent (East Melbourne), for significant service to education, and to nursing.
Australian Catholic University
  • Provost, since 2012
  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), 2011-2012
  • Dean of Health Sciences, 2007-2011
Deakin University
  • Inaugural Chair of Nursing Development, 2003-2006
  • Head, School of Nursing, 1997-2006
Southern Health
  • Chair, 2005-2009.
  • Board Member, 2001-2009
Australian Department of Health
  • Member, National Nursing and Nursing Education Taskforce, 2004-2007
  • Member, Australian Health Workforce Advisory Committee, 2000-2007
Australian Council of Deans of Nursing and Midwifery
  • President, 1999-2003
  • Executive Member, 1999-2005
  • Member, Victorian and Tasmanian Deans of Nursing, 1997-2007
  • Chair, Victorian Deans of Nursing, 1997-1999
Awards and recognition includes:
  • Telstra Businesswoman of the Year, 2009

Mr Vianney Shiel (Templestowe), for significant service to electronic engineering, and to education.

  • Lecturer, LaTrobe University, 2000-2017 (including the development of 4th year and Masters compulsory subject, Design for Mass Production)
  • Lecturer, School of Electrotechnology, RMIT University, 1972-1988 (including the development of the Diploma of Audiovisual Technology)
  • Principal Lecturer, Manufacturing Technology, Australian Electronics Development Centre, 1988-200 (including the development of 13 industry short courses)
  • Development of training needs analysis for maintenance staff and presentation of on- site training courses, Jindalee Over the Horizon Radar Network (JORN)
  • Volunteer, 2006 Commonwealth Games
  • Volunteer, The Asylum Seekers Centre
  • Volunteer, Cerebral Palsy Education Centre, since 2006
  • Volunteer, St Kevin's Church, Templestowe and St Peter and Paul, East Doncaster
Awards and recognition include:
  • Worldwide Who's Who Professional of the Year in Electronic Engineering

Mr Damien John Smith (Deepdene), for significant service to business through a range of roles.

  • Principal, Damien J Smith Lawyers and Consultants, current
  • Founder and Managing Director, Enterprise Care Pty Ltd, since 1987
  • Past Inaugural Course Author and Examiner, Legal Studies unit, MBA (for Professional Engineers), Deakin University/La Trobe University/ Chifley Business School, circa 10 years
  • Unit Author and Examiner, Risk Management Principles unit, Swinburne University, for five years
  • Unit Author and Presenter, Whole of Organisation Governance Practice, MBA Masterclass, Deakin University, current
Catholic Parish of Our Lady of Good Counsel and All Hallows, Deepdene and Balwyn, Victoria
  • Chairman, Salamat sa Biyaya Foundation, Philippines, 2014-2017
  • Past Chairman, Parish Council
  • Parishioner/Elder, current
  • Volunteer, St Vincent de Paul Society

Several other Victorians have received the Medal of the Order of Australia, the OAM. They include:

Mrs Rosanna Baini (Mernda), for service to the Lebanese community of Victoria.

Australia Lebanon Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ALCCI)
  • Vice-President, current
  • Founding Director, since 2012
  • Chair, Business Women's Group, current
  • Director, Miss Lebanon Charity Pageant of Victoria, (in aid of the Royal Children's Hospital Good Friday Appeal)
Victorian Maronite Community - Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Parish
  • Member, Stewardship Committee, 1989-2006.
  • Past Member, Building Committee and Public Relations Committee
Victorian Multicultural Commission
  • Commissioner, 1997-2001
  • Past Chairperson, State Youth Conference Steering Committee
The Honorary Justice Office, Department of Justice and Community Safety
  • Justice of the Peace, since 1994
  • Bail Justice, 1994-2009
  • Past Member, Chief Justices Advisory Committee, Family Law Court
  • Past Member, Court Network
Other community roles
  • Past Member, Austcare, Australian Red Cross
  • Past Member, Ethnic Communities Police Advisory Committee
  • Past Committee Member, Arabic Welfare
Awards and recognition includes:
  • Ambassador for Women, Appointment by the late Hon Fiona Richardson (Victorian State Government Minister for Women), 2017
  • Award for Meritorious Service to the Community - Volunteer, Certificate of Merit, Victorian Multicultural Commission Awards for Excellence, 2016
  • Inductee, Victorian Honour Roll of Women, 2002
  • Vice President's Jewel - Life Member, Royal Freemasons Homes of Victoria

Mrs Doreen Patricia Gunn (Seymour), for service to aged welfare.

Karingal Seymour Elderly Citizen's Hostel
  • Volunteer Member, since 1993
  • Supervisor, 1970s-1993
  • Member, Ladies Auxiliary
Barrabill House Aged Care Home
  • Volunteer, since 1993. St Mary's Parish
  • Member, Bingo Committee, 1992-2015
Awards and Recognition include:
  • International Women's Day Senior Woman of the Year, Mitchell Shire Council, 2009
  • Community Recognition Award, Mitchell Shire Council, 2005
  • Recognition for Outstanding service to Meals on Wheels, Shire of Seymour, 1990

Mr Nigel James Porteous (South Yarra), for service to the community, and to the shipping transport industry.

  • Vice Chairman, Mission to Seafarers Victoria Inc, since 2000
  • Company of Master Mariners Australia
  • Assistant Warden, since 2002
  • Member, since 1996
Shipping Transport Industry
  • Director, various ASP Ship Management Pty Ltd Companies, 1997-2016.
  • Director, Darwin Clean Fuels Pty Ltd, 2014-2018.
  • Director, Secure Seas Pty Ltd, since 2014

Ms Julie Ryan (Ivanhoe East), for service to secondary education.

  • Regional Director, Melbourne, Marist Schools Australia, since 2018
  • Principal, Our Lady of Mercy College, Heidelberg, 2005-2017
  • Principal, St Columba's College, Essendon, 2000-2004
Principals Association of Victorian Catholic Secondary Schools
  • President, 2012-2014
  • Life Member, since 2017
  • Secretary, 2007-2011
  • Vice-President, 2005-2006
  • Executive Member, 2004-2014
  • Chair, Professional Development Committee Member, 2004-2007
  • Member, Professional Development Committee Member, 2004-2009
  • Member, Lay Principals Under Contract Committee, 2005-2008
  • Member, Catholic Education Office Melbourne Leadership Committee, 2007-2008
Australasian Mercy Secondary School Association
  • President, 2014-2017
  • Chair, Conference Committee, 2017

Peter James Walsh (Beaumaris), for service to the Catholic Church in Victoria, and to business.

Catenians Victoria (Catholic association for men)
  • Former President, Victorian Area Council, early 2000s
  • President, Victorian Area Council, since 2017
  • Chairperson, Information Technology, Australian National Council, since 2017
  • Co-Founder, Victoria, Australia, since 1981
  • Co-Founder, Catenians in Nazareth, Israel
Stella Maris Beaumaris Parish
  • Member, Parish Council, 2000s
  • Member, Parish Finance Committee, 2000s
  • Member, 40 years
  • Organiser, Student Exchange Program
  • Knight Commander, Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, current
  • Member, Advisory Committee, Mannix College, Monash University, 20 years

Click here to view the full list of this year's awardees. Anyone is able to nominate any Australian for an award in the Order of Australia. If you know someone worthy, you may nominate them at
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