Eight central Victorians have been recognised as part of this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Five women from the region led the honours following a campaign to honour more women as part of the Queen’s Birthday celebrations.
Today’s Queen’s Birthday Honours List shows a record 15 per cent increase in female recipients compared to the Australia Day 2018 Honours List.
This year’s list recognises 1007 Australians across a wide range of professions and industries, from all states and territories, with 778 general division appointments and 229 Australians will be recognised through meritorious and military awards.
Recipients will be invited to attend investitures around Australia in the coming months to receive the insignia of their appointment/award.
Meet central Victoria’s Queen’s Birthday honorees
Margaret Keech Strathfieldsaye
Margaret Keech has received an Order of Australia Medal for service to the community of Bendigo.
Mrs Keech’s long list of community service includes chairing the Bendigo Academy of Sport since 2007 and holding positions with Scouts Victoria at the local (Strathfieldsaye) and district (Bendigo) levels.
She is a member of the Strathfieldsaye Community Reference Group, a member of the Central Victorian Rural Women's Network, a team member of Dragons Abreast Bendigo and is part of the Girton Grammar School Parents and Friends Association.
“Being out and about and helping people is something I enjoy. It’s just what happens, I like being involved,” she said.
Olive Bice, Maiden Gully
Maiden Gully’s country music star Olive Bice has received an Order of Australia Medal for service to the performing arts.
Ms Bice has been performing as a country musician for more than 60 years and played alongside the likes of national hero Slim Dusty and international star Roy Orbison.
“The first thing I did was cry. I don’t know if I really deserve it but some people must think I do,” she said. “I’m just so honoured to be chosen to receive such an honour.”
Milly Parker, Flora Hill
Milly Parker has been named an Order of Australia Medal recipient in the Queen’s Birthday 2018 Honours List for her advocacy roles for people with disabilities.
She has been an advocate for young people in nursing homes, the National Disability Insurance Scheme, the Every Australian counts campaign and was a committee member of the Victorian Disability Advisory Council.
In 2014 Ms Parker was a participant in ABC’s Four Corners program for a story related to the abuse of people with disabilities at the Victorian disability organisation Yooralla.
Ronda Walker, Kyneton
Kyneton’s Ronda Walker has watched her farming community develop into a commuter hub since arriving in 1965.
The CFA member, Zonta Club president, former councillor and friend of the Kyneton Museum received an Order of Australia Medal today for service to the community and to women.
Esther Kirby, Kerang
Kerang’s Esther Kirby received an OAM for her service to the indigenous community of Victoria.
Ms Kirby has served with Mallee District Aboriginal Services, the Kerang Elders Committee, the Swan Hill Region advisory group and the Gannawarra Shire’s Bush Kinder Program. She also chairs the Kerang Local Education Consultative Group.
“Part of our responsibility is to make sure young people are doing OK, whether they are related to us or not. We have to be a support for them and keep on the right track,” she said.
Ian McPherson, Eddington
After years of service helping disadvantaged youth and commitment to golf, Mr McPherson has been named in the Queen’s Birthday 2018 Honours List as a recipient of a Medal of the Order of Australia.
Mr McPherson was a founding chairman of the Tee-Up For Kids Foundation which promotes the education, safety and wellbeing of children living in out of home care in Victoria.
David Mann, Mount Macedon
Former radio personality and Mount Macedon resident David Mann has been made a member of the Order of Australia.
The AM award follows Mr Mann’s Order of Australian Medal that he received in 2006.
Mr Mann currently sits on 10 boards and four committees for foundations, charities or trusts and is an ambassador for other groups.
Mark Gilmore, Kingower/Rheola
After more than 40 years of service to the CFA and Forest Fire Management Victoria, Mark Gilmore is receiving an Australian Fire Service Medal
The CFA operations manager and regional commander for the Loddon Mallee said he was thrilled to receive the honour.
“They don’t (get awarded) very often and the people who have them, I hold in high esteem,” he said.