Look back on the recent investiture ceremonies held at Government House.
Earlier this month Government House hosted investiture ceremonies for the King’s Birthday Honours to recognise those in our community who have made a significant contribution to Victoria and Australia.
Over three days, over 200 recipients and their guests were welcomed to the House to receive their awards.
The Victorian recipients for the 2023 King’s Birthday Honours reflect the diversity of the state – with representation from a range of backgrounds, professions and sectors.
What is the Order of Australia?
The Order of Australia is our nation’s highest honour for outstanding achievement and service.
Every year, hundreds of Australians are celebrated through the Order of Australia. People from all backgrounds, all parts of Australia, and who have done all types of work.
There are four levels of award:
- Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) for eminent achievement and merit of the highest degree
- Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for distinguished service of a high degree
- Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for service in a particular locality or field of activity or to a particular group
- Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) is awarded for service worthy of particular recognition.
Other honours are also awarded at the investiture ceremony, including meritorious awards to recognise outstanding and distinguished service by public servants, members of an Australian police force, fire, ambulance, corrections, intelligence or emergency service.
What it means to be recognised
Associate Professor Misty Jenkins AO was among the recipients at an investiture ceremony at Government House Victoria.
A medical laboratory scientist at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, Dr Jenkins was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to medical science as an immunologist, to the promotion of women in STEM, and to the Indigenous community.
Dr Jenkins says that although people don’t work in medical research with accolades in mind, it’s important to acknowledge contributions beyond traditional measures of success such as academic papers, grants and student graduations.
‘These sorts of awards really capture individuals’ generosity and advocacy,’ she says.
It’s a desire to give back – or her ‘sense of social conscience,’ as she describes it – that drives Dr Jenkins to be an active voice for equity in STEM.
Born and raised in Ballarat as a woman of Gunditjmara descent, she was the first Indigenous Australian to attend the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge as a postdoctoral research fellow.
Through numerous board and founder roles in different organisations, Dr Jenkins advocates for expanding pathways, enabling others to follow in her footsteps.
Women and Indigenous Australians have been historically under-represented in the sciences, but recognition increases the visibility of role models for the next generation.
‘You can’t be what you can’t see,’ she says.
Going forward, Dr Jenkins hopes to continue her advocacy and offering the same support and mentorship that she has benefitted from in her own career.
She is also eager to see others recognised for their work and is looking to nominate someone in her own life for an Order of Australia.
‘I already have someone secretly in my sights,’ she says, ‘…who gives so much on so many different levels across society and has been largely unrecognised for their efforts.’
Nominate someone for an Order of Australia
Anyone can nominate someone for an Order of Australia at any time – there is no deadline.
Nominating someone worthy is a way of recognising and celebrating the contribution that they have made, their achievements and the impact that they have had on their community.
To nominate someone, you need:
- the full name and contact details of the person you are nominating
- your full name and contact details
- an outline of how your nominee has made a significant contribution to the community
- the names and contact details of up to four referees who can directly comment on your nominee’s contribution.
Visit www.gg.gov.au today to nominate someone you know who makes a difference.