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Host of famous Aussies including Hugh Jackman and Eric Bana make the Queen’s Birthday Honours list

A host of famous and accomplished Australians have been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list. 

Actors Hugh Jackman and Eric Bana received gongs along with 18-year-old polar explorer, Jade Hameister.  

One of the more unusual additions to the honours list was Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd who was handed Australia’s highest distinction.  

The Birthday Honours are granted to individuals who have made a significant contribution to the community with more than 1,000 Australians being recognised this year. 

Hugh Jackman received the Queen's Birthday honour for 'eminent service to the performing arts as an acclaimed actor and performer, and to the global community, particularly as an advocate for poverty eradication'

Hugh Jackman received the Queen’s Birthday honour for ’eminent service to the performing arts as an acclaimed actor and performer, and to the global community, particularly as an advocate for poverty eradication’

Mr Jackman, 50, says being appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia -the highest merit in the country's only order of chivalry - is 'especially emotional and humbling'

 Mr Jackman, 50, says being appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia -the highest merit in the country’s only order of chivalry – is ‘especially emotional and humbling’

Hugh Jackman received the Queen’s Birthday honour for ’eminent service to the performing arts as an acclaimed actor and performer, and to the global community, particularly as an advocate for poverty eradication.’ 

Mr Jackman, 50, says being appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia is ‘especially emotional and humbling.’

‘I am an immensely proud Australian, and am so grateful for the opportunities I have received by being raised there,’ he said.   

He thanked his family, closest friends and his fans for the love and support he has received throughout his career. 

His contributions to the performing arts and the global community helped him achieve this honour, with his portrayal as Wolverine in the X-Men films among the many on-screen performances lauded in the honours list. 

Eric Bana received the honour for 'significant service to the performing arts, and to charitable organisations'

Eric Bana received the honour for ‘significant service to the performing arts, and to charitable organisations’

The 50-year-old from Melbourne insists Monday's acknowledgement came as a complete surprise and that it was 'not at all something that had occurred to me on my radar'

The 50-year-old from Melbourne insists Monday’s acknowledgement came as a complete surprise and that it was ‘not at all something that had occurred to me on my radar’

Eric Bana received the honour for ‘significant service to the performing arts, and to charitable organisations.’ 

‘The first thing I did when I found out about the award was think of my parents,’ Mr Bana said.

His Croatian father and German mother both made the long boat journey to Australia after World War II.

The 50-year-old from Melbourne insists Monday’s acknowledgement came as a complete surprise and that it was ‘not at all something that had occurred to me on my radar.’

‘It’s a really nice and lovely acknowledgement,’ Mr Bana said.

Mr Bana has previously spoke of his father’s struggles with racism in Australia, but believes he would be ‘really, really proud and thrilled’ with this achievement.

Paul and Jade Hameister (pictured), a Victorian father and daughter team of polar explorers, received the honour for their services in polar exploration.

Paul and Jade Hameister (pictured), a Victorian father and daughter team of polar explorers, received the honour for their services in polar exploration.

The 18-year-old adventurer is the youngest person in history to ski to the North Pole, the South Police, and venture across Greenland, the second largest polar ice cap on the planet. Jade is one of the youngest people to ever make the Queen's Birthday Honours list

The 18-year-old adventurer is the youngest person in history to ski to the North Pole, the South Police, and venture across Greenland, the second largest polar ice cap on the planet. Jade is one of the youngest people to ever make the Queen’s Birthday Honours list

Father Paul and daughter Jade Hameister received the honour for their services in polar exploration. 

Ms Hameister is the youngest person in history to ski to the North Pole, the South Police, and venture across Greenland, the second largest polar ice cap on the planet. 

The 18-year-old is one of the youngest people to ever make the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.    

‘I like to think the honour is for surviving 140 nights in a tent with hormonal teenagers’ Mr Hameister said to The New Daily

‘In a tent you can’t just storm out and slam the door.’

Kevin Rudd received his honour for the 'eminent service to the Parliament of Australia, particularly as Prime Minister, to Indigenous reconciliation, innovative economic initiatives and major policy reform, and through senior advisory roles with international organisations'

Kevin Rudd received his honour for the ’eminent service to the Parliament of Australia, particularly as Prime Minister, to Indigenous reconciliation, innovative economic initiatives and major policy reform, and through senior advisory roles with international organisations’

After declining to be made a Companion of the Order of Australia in years gone by, former prime minister Kevin Rudd has decided he's ready for the honour after making a contribution beyond politics

After declining to be made a Companion of the Order of Australia in years gone by, former prime minister Kevin Rudd has decided he’s ready for the honour after making a contribution beyond politics

Former prime minister Kevin Rudd has become a Companion of the Order of Australia, dedicating the award to indigenous Australians.

‘I dedicate this award to our indigenous brothers and sisters,’ Mr Rudd said in a statement.

‘These first Australians are the oldest continuing civilisations on earth, and for those of us who have arrived in recent centuries, it is a privilege to share this vast and ancient continent with them.’

Mr Rudd, who issued a national apology to the Stolen Generations in 2008, says he and wife Therese established the National Apology Foundation for Indigenous Australians to make their own contribution to reconciliation.

But at a national level, the next step should be constitutional recognition, he believes.

‘This important work must continue.’

The leader has previously turned down an appointment as an AC , believing serving as prime minister and foreign minister was its own reward.  

Former Democrat senator Natasha Stott Despoja, now chair of anti-domestic violence group Our Watch, has been appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO).

So too has former Liberal minister Nick Minchin, a South Australian senator for almost two decades before retiring in 2011. 

Sporting greats honoured include future rugby league Immortals Johnathan Thurston and Cameron Smith, former Wallabies captains Tony Shaw and Stephen Moore, Winter Olympics gold medallist Alisa Camplin-Warner, basketballer Luke Longley, baseballer David Nilsson and Sydney to Hobart winner Matthew Allen. 

Rosie Batty received the honours for her 'distinguished service to the community as a campaigner and advocate for the prevention of family violence'

Rosie Batty received the honours for her ‘distinguished service to the community as a campaigner and advocate for the prevention of family violence’

The 2015 Australian of the Year (pictured) campaigned tirelessly after her 11-year-old son Luke was murdered by his father at cricket practice in Victoria the previous year

The 2015 Australian of the Year (pictured) campaigned tirelessly after her 11-year-old son Luke was murdered by his father at cricket practice in Victoria the previous year

Rosie Batty was appointed as an officer in the Order of Australia, as part of the Queen’s Birthday honours on Monday, recognising her ‘distinguished service to the community’.  

The 2015 Australian of the Year campaigned tirelessly after her 11-year-old son Luke was murdered by his father at cricket practice in Victoria the previous year.   

She started the Luke Batty Foundation in 2014 to raise awareness of issues facing victims and to demand action from community leaders.

Her advocacy was key to the establishment of a Royal Commission into Family Violence in Victoria in 2015, with the state government vowing to enact all 227 recommendations it tabled in 2016.

Ms Batty announced the foundation’s closure in 2018.

Following his defection to the west almost 40 years ago, Li Cunxin performed throughout the world before settling in Australia

Following his defection to the west almost 40 years ago, Li Cunxin performed throughout the world before settling in Australia

Now Mr Li has been appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for his contribution to performing arts, particularly ballet in Queen's Birthday Honours List for 2019

Now Mr Li has been appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for his contribution to performing arts, particularly ballet in Queen’s Birthday Honours List for 2019

Li Cunxin AO, the man behind the story of Mao’s Last Dancer, has been appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for his contribution to performing arts.

Following his defection to the west almost 40 years ago, Mr Li performed throughout the world before settling in Australia. 

‘This is truly something special for me,’ said Mr Li, the current artistic director for Queensland Ballet.

‘I feel so lucky to have had a career doing something I absolutely love and it’s always been my hope that through my story and career that I can inspire others and encourage people to follow their dreams.

Lorraine Hammond, an associate professor at Edith Cowan University's school of education, received the honour for her significant service to higher education and to the community

Lorraine Hammond, an associate professor at Edith Cowan University’s school of education, received the honour for her significant service to higher education and to the community

When she began her began her first high-school teaching job in Morawa, West Australian she found a large number of children had lots of trouble reading

When she began her began her first high-school teaching job in Morawa, West Australian she found a large number of children had lots of trouble reading 

Lorraine Hammond, an associate professor at Edith Cowan University’s school of education, received the honour for her significant service to higher education and to the community.  

When she began her first high-school teaching job in Morawa, West Australian she found a large number of children had lots of trouble reading.   

‘I thought it was morally reprehensible that children could get through 10,000 hours of primary school unable to read,’ she said to The Australian

‘I embarked on a journey to help these kids but I had no idea what I was doing because at university the assumption was, at the very least, the students we would be teaching could read.’ 

Guy Sebastian received the honour for 'significant service to the music recording industry, and to charitable initiatives'

Guy Sebastian received the honour for ‘significant service to the music recording industry, and to charitable initiatives’

Mr Sebastian said he began to cry when he was told he would receive an Order of Australia Medal as he felt the embrace of Australia

Mr Sebastian said he began to cry when he was told he would receive an Order of Australia Medal as he felt the embrace of Australia

Guy Sebastian received an honour for ‘significant service to the music recording industry, and to charitable initiatives.’ 

Mr Sebastian said he began to cry when he was told he would receive an Order of Australia Medal as he felt the embrace of Australia.  

‘So many times throughout my life I have felt like a proud Australian,’ Mr Sebastian said. 

‘Obviously winning the first Idol, representing Australia overseas at World Idol and then Eurovision and as soon as I got the news about the OAM, I just couldn’t wait to tell mum and dad who had sacrificed everything for us.’ 

Singer David Campbell is also an OAM recipient for he service to entertainment and the arts

Singer David Campbell is also an OAM recipient for he service to entertainment and the arts

'The acknowledgement isn't necessarily for me but about making something where others in the musical theatre community can come and have a go,' Mr Campbell said

‘The acknowledgement isn’t necessarily for me but about making something where others in the musical theatre community can come and have a go,’ Mr Campbell said

Singer David Campbell is also an OAM recipient for he service to entertainment and the arts.  

‘The acknowledgement isn’t necessarily for me but about making something where others in the musical theatre community can come and have a go,’ Mr Campbell said. 

‘I think it’s great that the arts can be seen in that way, that we can all pitch in together to create something.’

Actress Sigrid Thornton has been recognised for her contribution to the performing arts across film, television and stage

Actress Sigrid Thornton has been recognised for her contribution to the performing arts across film, television and stage

She has many theatre credits including Black Swan State Theatre Company's production of A Streetcar Named Desire and Opera Australia's A Little Night Music

She has many theatre credits including Black Swan State Theatre Company’s production of A Streetcar Named Desire and Opera Australia’s A Little Night Music

Actress Sigrid Thornton has been recognised for her contribution to the performing arts across film, television and stage.

She has many theatre credits including Black Swan State Theatre Company’s production of A Streetcar Named Desire and Opera Australia’s A Little Night Music.

On television, she has been in popular series Seachange, Wentworth and Underbelly.

Ms Thornton has also contributed to many professional arts organisations through board roles. 

She currently sits on the board of the National Institute of Dramatic Arts and was previously on the Australian Film Institute board. 

Ita Buttrose has been appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) as part of the Queen's Birthday honours for her eminent service to the community through leadership in the media, the arts, and the health sector, and as a role model

Ita Buttrose has been appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) as part of the Queen’s Birthday honours for her eminent service to the community through leadership in the media, the arts, and the health sector, and as a role model

Of course it's an honour, Buttrose says. She's humbled by it in fact. The 15-year-old Ita who worked as a copygirl never dreamt of such a privilege

Of course it’s an honour, Buttrose says. She’s humbled by it in fact. The 15-year-old Ita who worked as a copygirl never dreamt of such a privilege

Chair of the ABC Ita Buttrose was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) as part of the Queen’s Birthday honours.

She was handed Australia’s highest distinction for her eminent service to the community through leadership in the media, the arts, and the health sector, and as a role model. 

Of course it’s an honour, Buttrose says. She’s humbled by it in fact. The 15-year-old Ita who worked as a copygirl never dreamt of such a privilege.

‘I thought that like most girls at that time I would work for a few years, get married and have children,’ she told AAP.

‘But I do remember saying to my mother and my aunt at one point – I think when I was engaged – ‘Look I might be bored if I stay at home’. I think I was right, I would have been bored.’  

Other media figures who made the Queen’s birthday honours list include the ABC’s Leigh Sales, novelist Di Morrissey, writer Jane Caro and News Corp Australia group executive and AAP Chairman Campbell Reid, who were all appointed Members of the Order of Australia.

The Project’s Carrie Bickmore and experienced journalist and AAP FactCheck editor Louise Evans were awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia.      

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