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Hear from a recipient about what it means to be recognised and find out how you can nominate someone you know.


From 17 – 19 April 2024, the Governor hosted investiture ceremonies for recipients of Awards in the Order of Australia in the Australia Day 2024 Honours List.

Investiture ceremonies have been held in the Ballroom at Government House Victoria since the introduction of the Australian Honours System in 1975.

It was a busy week for the Office of the Governor, with almost 300 recipients receiving their award across three ceremonies.

The Ballroom at Government House during an investiture ceremony.
The Ballroom at Government House during an investiture ceremony.

Recipients were recognised for their work in charities, sport, research, religious communities, the creative arts, education, health, and many other areas.

It also marked only the second time in the Order’s history that more than 50% of those honoured are women, as well as being the largest representation of women among Victorian recipients.

Watch the recordings of the investiture ceremonies.

What it means to be recognised

The 2024 Australia Day Honours List saw a diverse group of recipients recognised, including Helen Walker OAM.

Having volunteered with Prison Network for more than four decades, Mrs Walker was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for service to women through a range of roles.

The Governor with Helen Walker OAM.
The Governor with Helen Walker OAM.

Mrs Walker credits much of her achievement to the support and guidance of early mentors and loved ones. She recalls the impact that fellow volunteer and OAM recipient, Marjorie Swales, had on her as a teenager.

‘I think it’s important for us to have a mentor and she taught me so much about being yourself, just accepting people, loving people.’

These lessons have continued to guide Mrs Walker’s work, along with the belief that ‘those that have been given so much should give out.’

She first began working with female inmates as a nineteen-year-old at Pentridge Prison. Having originally been asked to perform music at the Prison, Walker quickly realised that volunteering with these women was her calling and begun working with Prison Network more often.

In the ensuing years, Walker would go on to run Bible study groups, facilitate family visits and form friendships with many female inmates.

Today, she’s focused on improving outcomes for women who’ve recently been released from prison.

‘We need people connecting with these women and families in order for them to survive out here.’

It’s these women, Walker argues, that are the real inspiration for what she does.

‘Seeing these women get on with life and thriving is a real achievement.’ 

Another notable recipient on the 2024 Australia Day Honours List was Paul Briggs AO.

The Governor with Paul Briggs AO.
The Governor with Paul Briggs AO.

A Yorta Yorta man, Briggs founded the Rumbalara Football Netball Club in Shepparton. He credits the club with bringing the community together and promoting the achievements of Yorta Yorta people.

Alongside its sporting program, Rumbalara also has a homework club, driving lessons, language programs, choirs and employment courses. Briggs is proud of what Rumbalara has achieved and the impact its had on the local community.

How to nominate

In the Governor’s speech at the investiture ceremonies, she emphasised the importance of recognising the work of those around us, particularly when their achievements might otherwise go unnoticed or uncelebrated.

The Governor encouraged Victorians to nominate someone they know to ensure that the Australian Honours System represents all parts of our community.

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 their impact that has made our State a more positive place to live.

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.