Ladies in waiting?

UPDATE: In 2015, women have taken out the Australian of the Year awards for the first time in history. But in our other top national honours -- the Order of Australia awards --  women remain consistently under-recognised. This year, 824 Australians have been awarded the honour -- and only one-third of those appointed are women. 

In March last year year Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced that Knights and Dames would be reintroduced as the highest award in the Order of Australia honours. If the Prime Minister wants to reform our national honours, he should ensure Australia's top awards reflect the diversity of 'knights in shining armour' that serve our communities - including women.

Knights and Dames are an outdated notion: as outdated as the fact that women continue to be drastically under-represented across Australia’s prestigious national awards. When Australia last had Knights and Dames – in the 1970s – twelve men and two women were awarded the honour. Decades later, we haven’t moved far forward. Last year just 31% of the total Australia Day honours and Queen's Birthday awards were given to women, and in 2015 women have again  received just a third of awards.[1]

Will you join the call for the Prime Minister to ensure women are equally represented in the Order of Australian honours?

More information

This year 824 Australians were recognised for their service, with two-thirds of those awarded the honour men, and just one-third women. This year:
* The two recipients of our newest top Order of Australia awards - the Knight of the Order of Australia - were both men.
* In the former top award category - the Companion of the Order of Australia - Janice Claire Reid was the only woman named amongst the four recipients.
* In the next highest honour category, the Office of the Order of Australia, of those named: 30 were men, and just 8 were women.

[1Women still missing out on Australia Day honours list, 26 January 2014; Queen's Birthday honours: Australians recognised for services to community, ABC News, 9 June 2014. 


Dear Prime Minister Abbott,

We want to see the Order of Australia awards reflect the diversity of the 'knights in shining armour' that serve our communities - including women. We call on you to guarantee women will be equally represented in all Australian Honours.


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Leonie , 5050  /  signed 2015-02-03 16:15:31 +1100
Louise , 2099  /  signed 2015-01-27 22:56:43 +1100
Dave , 2150  /  signed 2015-01-27 18:58:41 +1100
michael , 3840  /  signed 2015-01-26 19:47:35 +1100
Jill , 3066  /  signed 2015-01-26 16:42:28 +1100
kathryn , 5031  /  signed 2015-01-26 16:34:51 +1100
Gwenyth , 3056  /  signed 2015-01-26 13:32:35 +1100
"Domination by anyone, be it male or female is not acceptable. The “Australia Day Awards” Illustrate how domination by males is still alive and well…. Shame Australia Shame."
Theresa  /  signed 2014-08-30 19:30:07 +1000
"If you can’t find talented, incredible women worthy of commendation you are simply not trying. Appalling."
Heidi , 4066  /  signed 2014-08-18 19:20:18 +1000
Lynne , 6012  /  signed 2014-08-18 11:21:26 +1000
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