Author Kate Grenville has been awarded an Officer in the General Division (AO) of the Order of Australia for her services to the literary arts. Grenville’s many novels include The Secret River, published in 2006, which is set in New South Wales during colonial settlement. Based on Grenville’s own convict ancestry, the novel was nominated for the Man Booker Prize. In 2013, The Secret River was turned into an award-winning stage play for Sydney Theatre Company by Andrew Bovell. Directed by Neil Armfield, it later played at the Adelaide Festival. The novel was then adapted into a two-part television mini-series for the ABC, and an opera adaptation is now being created. Other people working in the arts to be named Officers include Susan Provan, the Director of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, which she has led for more than 20 years, and Christian Thompson for services to the visual arts as a sculptor, photographer, video and performance artist.
Melbourne Chamber Orchestra Artistic Director, William Hennessy, was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for significant services to music. Hennessy has led the MCO for over a decade as well as being one of Australia’s leading soloists, chamber musicians, teachers and classical music leaders. Musician, composer, academic and author Michael Atherton was also named an AM for significant services to the performing arts particularly through music composition, performance and education. Carolyn Chard, Executive Director of West Australian Opera, received an AM for her work in executive roles. Musical director and conductor Peter Casey was also recognised for 40 years of services to the performing arts through his contribution to musical theatre. Casey has worked on numerous musicals, among them Les Misérables, The Sound of Music, The Producers, Chicago, Anything Goes and The King and I.
Sheena Boughen, who was Chairwoman of the Four Winds Festival for a decade until 2016, received a Medal (OAM). Others recognised as Members include Martin Butler, violist with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and conductor of Adelaide Youth Strings, Tony Ellwood, Director of the National Gallery of Victoria, for significant services to the visual arts, and Jack Hibberd for services to the performing arts through advisory roles and to theatre as a playwright. . Glenn A Baker and Brian Cadd were honoured for their work in popular music.