Australia —BLAZEAID founders Kevin and Rhonda Butler have been recognised on today’s Queen’s Birthday honours list.
The couple, from Kilmore, were each awarded Order of Australia Medals in the General Division of this year’s honours, unveiled today.
They were recognised for their service to the community as co-founders of BlazeAid, which was instrumental in helping landowners recover after the tragic 2009 Black Saturday bushfires.
Four other Victorians are being honoured in the latest Order of Australia awards for their efforts in the wake of the Black Saturday fires in 2009.
Marysville resident Bruce Ackerman has been appointed a Member (AM) of the Order of Australia for service to the Marysville community during, and in the aftermath of, the 2009 Victorian bushfires.
He says he doesn’t like to dwell on the events that led to his name appearing on the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
Another Marysville resident, Leigh Jowett, is also appointed a member of the Order of Australia for the support he gave his community, as is Jane Hayward from nearby Strathewen for her work with schoolchildren and their families, and Cameron Caine, a police officer from Kinglake.
Other notable recipients included former Victorian Labor Premier Joan Kirner who was recognised with a Companion Order in the General Division for her contribution to politics, education and civil rights.
A number of former politicians made the list, including former Wannon MP and House of Representatives Speaker David Hawker, former Nationals leader and deputy prime minister Mark Vaile, former agriculture parliamentary secretary Judith Troeth and state MP Ken Jasper.
Rutherglen winemakers Charles Morris and Christopher Pfeiffer were both recognised, as were Strathewen Primary School principal Jane Hayward and Kinglake policeman Cameron Caine for their work in their bushfire-ravaged communities.
Other agricultural identities on this year’s list included former Australian Stud Merino Breeders Association president Rob Ashby, of South Australia, and Gippsland dairy farmer and irrigation advocate Graeme Anderson.