Tele: Queen’s Birthday honours to be handed out to frontline COVID-19 workers

Australians who have displayed extraordinary service and achievement during the COVID-19 response and recovery will feature on a dedicated honours roll to be unveiled on the Queen’s Birthday.

Noting the “courage” and “selflessness” that had been shown by both professionals and volunteers during the course of COVID-19, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the move was designed to give thanks to those who had gone above and beyond to keep critical services and the economy going.

Individuals recognised for their contribution, service or achievement relating to COVID-19 would feature on a dedicated COVID-19 honours roll as well as the official Australian honours database on the Queen’s Birthday in June, he said.

The Prime Minister said the Governor-General, His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd) agreed that the once in a 100-year pandemic had seen an extraordinary period of service for the nation.

“The pandemic has challenged our nation in a way we have not seen since World War Two, yet we have seen the best of Australia as we have come together, helping one another to keep us safe,” Mr Morrison said.

“There has been heartbreaking loss and hardship but our overall success has been built on the incredible sacrifices of many. From health professionals providing critical care to COVID-19 patients or those in aged care, to mental health counsellors, and workers going above and beyond to keep critical services and the economy going.”

Just like the National Emergency Medal is available to recognise responders to the 2019-20 Bushfires and 2019 North Queensland Floods, and the Bravery Decorations recognise acts of bravery where people selflessly put themselves in jeopardy to protect the lives or property of others, the Australian Honours System includes awards which provide a valuable mechanism to recognise extraordinary contributions.

Mr Morrison said while Australia Day this year would be a day for “giving thanks” for those in the COVID-19 response, the Government wanted to ensure there was lasting recognition. The Prime Minister urged Australians to nominate those from the frontline or behind the scenes.

The Federal Government will recommend that no COVID-19 honour count towards existing quotas for awards where relevant.

Mr Morrison has also asked premiers and chief ministers to gather nominations. Nominations can be made now.

Make a nomination at: covidhonours.pmc.gov.au.

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