Former Victoria Police chief commissioner Christine Nixon is leading Central Victoria’s Queen’s Birthday honours.
She joins six other Central Victorians in receiving Order of Australia honours today who come from towns such as Gisborne, Sedgwick, Yaapeet, Chewton and Eaglehawk. Five of the recipients are women.
Ms Nixon, who is also the deputy chair of the Castlemaine State Festival, has been appointed an Officer of the Order for her service to policing, women in policing and tertiary education. She was the first woman in Australia to be appointed a police commissioner.
She said the honour was extra special for her family, particularly her father.
“When I told him that I got this award, he was really very happy and like dads who are very proud of their daughters, to recognise he said ‘well, it was about time’,” Ms Nixon said.
“And so, it’s a nice thing for him to see as well as the rest of the family.
The other six recipients have been awarded for services to the community, youth, environmentalism, superannuation and social welfare.
Women received 416 awards (44 per cent) in this year’s Queen’s Birthday honours. It was the highest percentage of female Order of Australia recipients in an honours list since the introduction of the Australian honours system in 1975.
Sedgwick’s Carolyn Naunton will be awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for her work helping young women in the Girls’ Brigade.
She said it was humbling to receive the honour for helping young women build life skills and confidence.
“All those qualities of life that we perhaps take for granted and overlook at times, but that’s where we target our teaching,” Ms Naunton said.
As for Ms Nixon, nowadays she is campaigning for better awareness and education about the consequences of coward punch attacks after joining former boxer Danny Green’s Coward’s Punch campaign.
“That harm that is done to someone who’s a victim of a coward punch, their lives are never the same, for any of the parties involved, so I hope to able to continue to contribute there,” she said.