The Queen’s Birthday Honours List this year was marked by a new record of 37.5 per cent female winners, beating the record of 33 per cent in 2018. The list had the highest percentage of female recipients and included names like Ita Buttrose, Natasha Stott Despoja and Rosie Batty.

Ita Buttrose, the current chair of ABC was made a companion of the Order of Australia (AC) – the highest civilian award under the Australian honours system for eminent service to the community through leadership in the media, the arts, and the health sector, and as a role model. Natasha Stott Despoja, former leader of the Australian Democrats and youngest female parliamentarian, Rosie Batty, anti-domestic violence campaigner and 2015 Australian of the Year and Michelle Simmons, industry-leading quantum physicist and 2018 Australian of the Year were given the second highest honour and were made officers of the Order of Australia (OA).

One of the first Chinese Australian chefs, Chef Elizabeth Chong, ABC Journalist Leigh Sales and author Charlotte Woods were made Members of the Order of Australia (AM). Sharon Leslie Burrow, former President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions was also made a companion in the General Division (AC) for eminent service to industrial relations at the national and international level, to social equity, and as a champion of human rights in developing countries.

Natasha Stott Despoja, received the second highest honour for distinguished service to the global community as an advocate for gender equality, and through roles in a range of organisations and said she looked forward to the awards reaching gender parity in the future especially as this years Queen’s Birthday Honours List mostly consisted of female trailblazers.

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