Nearly a thousand Australians will be honoured in Queen's Birthday ceremonies around the country, with female representation reaching a record high of 40 per cent.
Women were awarded 395 of the 993 honours this June, with nominations and awards for females continuing to increase. Governor-General Peter Cosgrove said that Australians "would all welcome higher recognition of magnificent Australian women".
The event is one of two annual honours lists, with the other coming on Australia Day. Notable recipients include ABC chair Ita Buttrose, former prime minister Kevin Rudd, actors Eric Bana, Hugh Jackman and Sigrid Thornton, domestic violence campaigner Rosie Batty and NRL legends Cameron Smith and Johnathan Thurston.
Twelve people, including Ms Buttrose, Mr Jackman and Mr Rudd, will be made the companions of the Order of Australia "for eminent achievement and merit of the highest degree in service to Australia or to humanity at large".
There will also be 69 new Officers of the Order of Australia and 319 Members of the Order of Australia. As well, 593 medals will be awarded.
The largest group of recipients come from the area of community service, with 43 per cent of honours being bestowed on people in this field.
Sport, medicine, the arts and education are the other fields with large groups of recipients.
Sir Peter said: "On behalf of all Australians, I congratulate today's recipients. They have made an enormous contribution to their local communities and to the entire nation and deserve our thanks, admiration and to be celebrated".
The Governor-General noted that this would be his last Queen's Birthday ceremony, since he announced last year he would retire. Former NSW governor and defence force chief David Hurley will take over.
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"Over the last five years, it has been the greatest honour and privilege to recognise and celebrate over 80,000 recipients through the Honours and Awards System," Sir Peter said.
"Some names on today's list are well known. Many more are known only to those they help and serve day in, day out. They are all wonderful people and are all worthy of recognition and celebration."
The oldest recipient this year is 99 and the youngest 18.
"I encourage all Australians, if ever you see someone with an Order of Australia lapel badge, or see an Order of Australia post-nominal after their name, to recognise that the person is extraordinary and has served their community and nation," Sir Peter said.
"And if, in doing so, you think of someone you know that is similar then consider nominating them for an award so that they too can be celebrated."
More than 200 meritorious and military awards, including 40 Public Service Medals and 34 Australian Police Medals, will also be awarded.
The Order of Australia was established by Queen Elizabeth II in 1975. Until then, Australian citizens received British honours.
In that time, 25,000 medals have been given, and more than 10,000 people have been made Members of Australia, as well as 3000 Officers of Australia and more than 500 Companions of Australia.
- SMH/The Age