Honours list acknowledges many in the arts, with strong recognition for benefactors

As always, we offer our congratulations to everyone on the 2019 Queen’s Birthday Honours List, and we take delight in singling out and celebrating a few of our own for their outstanding contribution to the arts.

Honours list acknowledges many in the arts, with strong recognition for benefactors

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Congratulations to the following deserving awardees:

Companion (AC) of the Order of Australia

Ita Buttrose AO OBE (AC) has been recognised for eminent service to the community through leadership in the media, the arts, and the health sector, and as a role model. Among her numerous roles, Ita has been a member of the Sydney Symphony Council since 2010.

Officer (AO) of the Order of Australia

Nicola Forrest AO has been recognised for her service through philanthropic support for education and the arts, to business and to the community. This includes her role as Chair of Black Swan State Theatre Company. She is also supporter of a range of arts and cultural organisations, including the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Western Australian Opera, Western Australian Ballet and Western Australian Symphony Orchestra.

Cunxin Li AO is recognised for distinguished service to the performing arts, particularly to ballet, as a dancer and artistic director. Li has been Artistic Director of Queensland Ballet since 2012, during which time he has created collaborations with The Royal Ballet, Texas Ballet Theatre, Royal New Zealand Ballet, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and West Australian Ballet. He was a Board Member of the Australian Ballet from 2005–2012 and Principal Artist from 1995–1999.

Sigrid Thornton AO receives the award for distinguished service to the performing arts as a film, television and stage actor, and to professional arts organisations. Among her numerous roles supporting arts organisations Sigrid was a Board Member of Malthouse Theatre from 2008–2016.

Member (AM) of the Order of Australia

Frances Gerard AM, recognised for significant service to the hospitality industry and to the arts, has been a benefactor of The Australian Ballet since 2005 when she initiated the company’s International Touring Fund.

David Li AM has been recognised for significant service to the community through support for the performing arts. Li is currently Deputy Chairman of the MSO Board, playing a key role in assisting the company to establish deep engagement with major artists and cultural institutions in China. David is also a Leading Patron at Opera Australia.

David Krasnostein AM, who receives the award for significant service to the law through equitable access to justice, is a long-term Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Board member and patron of the MSO. David is currently Chair of MSO’s Governance Committee and a member of the Advancement and Finance Committees. He has been a Director of the MSO since 2014 and Chair of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Foundation, since 2015.

Emeritus Professor Richard Fotheringham AM has been recognised for significant service to higher education, and to the performing arts. Emeritus Professor Fotheringham has served as Chair, Deputy Chair and is a current member of Queensland Theatre Board. He was also a former Consultant for Community Cultural Development Board, Australia Council for the Arts.

Jane Caro AM receives the Member of the Order of Australia for significant service to the broadcast media as a journalist, social commentator and author. Jane has been a Board Member of Bell Shakespeare since 2009.

Guy Sebastian AM for significant service to the music recording industry, and to charitable initiatives. 


Professor Brenda Wilson AM for significant service to community health, and to the people of South Australia through a range of roles. State Opera SA is privileged to have her expertise and leadership as a member of its board and
fundraising committee.

Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia

Neroli Hobbins OAM receives the award for service to the performing arts through administrative roles. These include her current position in Opera Australia as General Manager, Opera Australia Capital Fund (since 2000), and her past role as Patron Manager, Australian Opera, 1982–1993. She was also Barre Partner (philanthropic) for Sydney Dance Company in 2010.

Ms Fiona Tonkin OAM, who has been recognised for service to the performing arts, particularly to ballet, has dedicated 31 years to The Australian Ballet covering roles from artist to coryphee, soloist, principal artist and, since 2003, Artistic Associate and Principal Coach.

Find the complete list here: www.gg.gov.au/queens-birthday-2019-honours-list

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