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Cate Blanchett has been made a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) in the 2017 Queen’s Birthday Honours – the highest award for a civilian.
Cate Blanchett. Photograph © Steven Chee
Blanchett was recognised for “eminent service to the performing arts as an international stage and screen actor, through seminal contributions as director of artistic organisations, as a role model for women and young performers, and as a supporter of humanitarian and environmental causes.”
Blanchett is one of the nation’s most revered actors, with numerous acting accolades to her name including two Academy Awards (for The Aviator in 2004 and Blue Jasmine in 2014) and six ACCTAs. She was nominated for a Tony Award this year for her performance in Sydney Theatre Company’s production of The Present, Andrew Upton’s adaptation of Chekhov’s Platonov, but was pipped to the award by Laurie Metcalf for A Doll’s House, Part 2.
Blanchett was co-Artistic Director of Sydney Theatre Company with her husband Upton from 2008 to 2013, and remains a director of the company’s fundraising body, the STC Foundation. Her numerous other roles include a Global Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, an ambassador for the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA), an ambassador for the Australian Conservation Foundation, and patron of Sydney Film Festival.
Stephen Page, the Artistic Director of Bangarra Dance Theatre, has been made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for “distinguished service to the performing arts and contemporary dance, through enriching Australia's cultural environment, and by presenting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts to the world.”
Dene Olding, the former Concertmaster of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, now SSO Concertmaster Emeritus, as well as first violin in the Goldner String Quartet and member of the Australia Ensemble, has been honoured with a Member of the Order (AM) for his work as a concertmaster, musician and artistic director.
Classical harpist Alice Giles – who is a member of the Australian World Orchestra and who teaches at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) – was recognised with an AM for her work as a musician, educator and mentor.
Other musicians honoured with an AM include Nicolette Fraillon, the Music Director and Chief Conductor of the Australian Ballet, composer Ann Carr-Boyd for her significant service to the performing arts and classical music.
Actor Deborah Mailman received an AM for her services to the arts and as a role model for Indigenous performers. Former prima ballerina and Director of the Australian Ballet School Marilyn Rowe, director Gale Edwards, playwright John Romeril, designer Roger Kirk, comedy impresario Greg Hocking, theatre historian Frank Van Straten, and visual arts curators Judith Ryan and Anne Gray were all made AMs.
Denis Handlin, the Chief Executive of Sony Music Australia, was made an AO for distinguished service to the Australian recording industry and to charitable organisations as a director, patron and contributor.
Promoters Michael Coppel and Paul Dainty were made AOs, while Patti Newton was honoured with an AM for her work as an entertainer and for her charity work.
Arts managers and administrators to be honoured include Michael Lynch, the former Chief Executive of the Sydney Opera House, who was made an AO. Robert Love, Ann Tonks and Ian Scobie received AMs.
On the philanthropic front, property developer John Gandel was made an AC for major donations to the National Gallery of Australia and Arts Centre Melbourne. David Paradice received an AO for his support of Sydney Theatre Company and the Joan Sutherland and Richard Bonynge Foundation, while Diana Morgan becomes an AM for her support of the National Gallery of Victoria.