Top bankers among Australia Day honourees
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“Dedicated, committed, selfless” is the -General’s description of the 1099-strong cohort of Australia Day Honours List awardees, which includes top bankers James Gorman and Matthew Grounds, and company chairmen Ilana Atlas and Kevin McCann.

via apinews.org

Morgan Stanley and chief executive James Gorman, who has run the investment bank for ten years from New York, said he was “honoured to receive this award and extremely proud to represent abroad”. 

The vast majority of the recipients, at 837, were named in the general division of the Order of Australia. 26 were named in the military division, while 236 received meritorious awards.

The business and commerce category of the general division received relatively few nominations – 24 men and 10 women – of whom 17 and 7 were awarded, respectively. “Community” was the biggest category, with 548 nominations and 375 awards.

Coca-Cola Amatil chairman Ilana Atlas, who was appointed an officer of the order (AO), said the award made her think of the opportunities she had received as a child of migrants.

“To be honoured by your country for service to the community does make you feel very proud to belong here… You do reflect on how grateful you are to be Australian,” she said.

Ms Atlas said the recognition also reminded her of the “thousands” of people whom she had encountered in a career spanning business, education, and the arts.


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Women made up 41.6 per cent of this year’s award winners.

via apinews.org

Order of Australia award recipients receive a distinctive, engraved medal and a recognisable lapel pin.  Peter Braig

Governor-General David Hurley said the Honours List was diverse, but that it could be “even more so” and that he wanted to ensure that “as many outstanding Australians as possible, from all backgrounds, are nominated”

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Morgan Stanley chairman and chief executive James Gorman, who has run the investment bank for ten years from New York, said he was “honoured to receive this award and extremely proud to represent Australia abroad”.

“While most of my working life has been in the US my heart remains firmly Australian,” Mr Gorman said.

Anyone can be nominated for an Order of Australia award through a process that involves an online form and up to four referees.

Once nominated, chances of receiving a gong are decent: 70.3 per cent of nominees were awarded in the general division in 2020.

The general division of the Order of Australia breaks down into four gradations, in descending order of exclusivity: Companions of the Order (AC), Officers of the Order (AO), Members of the Order (AM), Medal of the Order (OAM). There were 549 recipients of the OAM , 224 of the AM, 59 of the AO, and 5 of the AC.

This year’s recipients of the highest honour, the AC, include the Governor of NSW Margaret Beazley, Monash University vice-chancellor Margaret Gardner, and Supreme Court chief justice Catherine Holmes.

Among the AC recipients is physicist and University of Adelaide professor Anthony Thomas, who has unusually taken out the top honour on his first inclusion on the Honours List.

“In a way, it’s a recognition that you can carry out first-class science, and be a part of the international scientific community from South Australia,” Professor Thomas said.

The physicist, who studies the structure of sub-atomic matter, said the practical applications of his research may be “decades away,” but that the rewards of teaching and learning were more immediate.

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“Day to day, it’s hard work. You’re digging and it’s not always satisfying. But just occasionally, you’re the first person on earth to understand something… That is an incredible feeling,” Professor Thomas said.

Some of the more prominent award recipients were celebrities and artists, including actors Hugo Weaving and Rachel Griffiths, and musician Keith Urban.

Veteran Sydney Morning Herald journalist Kate McClymont and ABC Radio National science broadcaster Robyn Williams were among the media figures recognised.

“They’re extraordinary but also, in the best possible way, ordinary,” the Governor-General said, adding that “we all know people like those who have been recognised today”.

Bo Seo is a journalist for The Australian Financial Review based in the Sydney office. Email Bo at [email protected]

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