There's nothing like a good gong, especially one that comes just a week after the Queen herself has wrapped up the celebrations for her Platinum Jubilee.
The list of Queen's Birthday Honours is always intriguing, filled as it is with abbreviated stories of selflessness, long and productive careers, heroic acts and community spirit.
"Recipients share some common traits - including selflessness, excellence and a commitment to service," the Governor-General said in a statement alongside the honours announcement.
"They're from different backgrounds, their stories are each unique, and each has served in different ways. This diversity is a strength and each has impacted their community and made it better."
And indeed, the list serves as a reminder of the vast range of human experience, lived out through the years.
Throughout the lists, which run into the many hundreds each year, there will always be the odd name of someone who had, until now, dropped off the radar somehow.
A former colleague, a distinguished artist, a long-retired political figure - these appear amid the usual suspects like prominent community leaders or towering professionals who have contributed tirelessly to his or her field.
There are posthumous awards, or long-overdue ones - these remind us that not everyone works with such honours in mind - they are happy to wait it out, or never put any thought at all into public recognition.
But what we haven't seen, until relatively recently, is anything remotely close to gender parity when it comes to these recipient lists.
This year, there is a special line in the media release accompanying the recipient lists, pointing out that 46 per cent of recipients in the general division of the Order of Australia Honours are women - 307 of 669 recipients.
This is welcome, of course, but hardly something that needs drawing attention to. Women make up more than 50 per cent of the population, and for many years were under-represented in these awards across the board.
Change is always slow, and a number that's close to mirroring the actual representation of women in society at large is nothing to mock, dismiss or sneeze at. But it is singled out for being notable, and feels contradictory - it doesn't need to be pointed out so insistently. It should simply be a fact of life.
"This is the second highest percentage of female Order of Australia recipients in an honours list since the introduction of the Australian honours system in 1975," the press release specifies.
One day hopefully soon, such a line won't need saying.
CANBERRA'S HONOURS RECIPIENTS:
Also notable among this year's recipients is a large number of people recognised for their contribution in support of Australia's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Indeed, there's a separate Honour Roll just for COVID-19 service.
This is a category worth acknowledging, and continuing to acknowledge as we continue to live with a continuing pandemic. The tireless work it creates is far from over.
Many Queen's Birthday celebrations are likely to be in person this year, as mask mandates are being lifted and most of us have returned to something resembling normal life.
Health workers, teachers, policymakers - those who have had a hand in steering the population through a crisis, often flying blind with no sense of the future.
To have been an integral part of the country's response to the pandemic is something the rest of the country won't and can't forget any time soon.
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