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Australia Day honours awarded to public servants for 'outstanding' work

Outstanding work by public servants on issues such as asbestos contamination and community health has been honoured by the Governor-General.

Just 100 Public Service Medals are awarded every year to recognise the contributions made by public servants at every level of government.

Three employees of the ACT government were awarded the medal, including the head of the Asbestos Response Taskforce, Andrew Kefford.

Mr Kefford, from Deakin, was honoured for his "instrumental" work leading the government's response to the Mr Fluffy asbestos contamination crisis.

He led efforts to remove asbestos insulation across 56 Canberra suburbs and was recently asked to head the government's reform of its Land Development Agency

Nurse Kerryn Ernst, from Page, was recognised for her tireless work promoting community health.

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Ms Ernst has been a registered nurse since 1998 and has been a strong advocate for the need to educate Australians about breast cancer awareness.

Ian Hill, from Narrabundah, was recognised for the pivotal role he played in attracting the first direct, international flights to Canberra.

In addition, as executive director of VisitCanberra, Mr Hill has played a strong role in boosting tourism by promoting the city overseas.

Seven public servants were also awarded the medal for their work at the federal level.

David Braggett was recognised for the role he played in the "once-in-a-generation" reform of Australia's aged care services.

A varied career spanning several agencies including the Department of Immigration and Border Protection earned Maria Fernandez the medal.

Nicola Hinder was honoured for her work across the fields of pest management and biosecurity.

Roxanne Kelley was honoured for making a "substantial contribution" to reform efforts at the Department of Defence.

Leadership in drought policy and agriculture saw Matthew Koval honoured.

Dr Ralph Lattimore was rewarded for "exceptional" contributions at the Productivity Commission.

Rhana Crago received the medal for her work as an executive assistant supporting the Health and Finance portfolios.

The Public Service Medal is awarded twice each year by the Governor-General at the Australia Day and Queen's Birthday Honours celebrations.

Australia's top paid civil servant, Australia Post boss Ahmed Fahour, was also appointed as an Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to business across the postal, banking and investment sectors.