Honouring our finest 

* What the recipients had to say

NINE northerners are among those honoured on the Australia Day Honours List this year. 

The highest honour has gone to Tamworth woman Meg Larkin who was named a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for her significant service to the arts and as a leader and advocate of regional  organisations. 

Also named on the Honours List was Dr John Atchison for his service to the New England area as historian and educator, Brian Baldwin of Inverell for his commitment to a range of community organisations, Kenneth Craddock of Narrabri for service to local veterans and their families, Inverell’s Margaret Hodgens for service to the community, Robert Holloway of Armidale for community service, Inverell agri-politician Mal Peters for service to primary industry and regional development, Father Tom Shanahan of Tamworth for his service to veterans and their families and Mervyn Sharman for service to local government and the Glen Innes community. 

In 2013, 571 Australia Day Awards recipients have been announced as receiving awards in the general division of the Order of Australia, in recognition of their contributions across a diverse range of activities and service to 

fellow citizens in Australia and internationally.

Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston AC AFC (Ret’d), chair of the Council of the Order, said the diversity of service across all fields of endeavour was recognised in the Australia Day Honours List.

“These awards are public recognition of people who provide outstanding community service and whose achievements enhance national identity. By their actions they demonstrate the qualities of positive role models,” he said. 

“The recipients are not only worthy of respect but encourage emulation. These awards also recognise the quiet achievers in our midst.

Father Tom Shanahan. Photo:Robert Chappel. 240112RCH01

Father Tom Shanahan. Photo:Robert Chappel. 240112RCH01

Meg Larkin. Photo: Barry Smith 240112BSE01

Meg Larkin. Photo: Barry Smith 240112BSE01

“They are people who serve the community, but do not seek 


The 13 councils across the  northern region will host a variety of celebratory events to mark the day the nation celebrates, with everything from a traditional Aussie barbecue to a range of races – yabbies and ducks – and even a thong-throwing competition.