Maggie Beer: Senior Australian of the Year

updated: Maggie Beer has been named Senior Australian of the Year while The Wiggles, Ray Martin, Don Burke & Reg Watson win Australia Day Honours.

Television chef Maggie Beer has been named Senior Australian of the Year.

Beer, who finished co-hosting ABC’s The Cook and the Chef last year, was announced as winner in a ceremony conducted by Kevin Rudd and Chair of the National Australia Day Council Adam Gilchrist outside Parliament House last night.

She was recognised for championing local produce by farmers from the Barossa Region.

Aged 65, the self-taught cook couldn’t resist extolling the virtues of cooking in her acceptance speech.

“All I am doing is what I love to do and being able to share it. Never under-estimate the joy that cooking and sharing the table can bring,” she said.

“I challenge you all to think about food in a different way.

“It changes lives!”

Film director Rohan Thornton, who directed the ABC’s Samson and Delilah, missed out on the top prize, Australian of the Year, which went to youth psychiatrist Professor Patrick McGorry.

Meanwhile the four original Wiggles, Murray Cook, Jeff Fatt, Anthony Field and Greg Page have received the Order of Australia for services to children’s entertainment and the arts.

Ray Martin was honoured for his contribution to journalism and charity work, just a day after calling for the Flag to be changed.

Don Burke was recognised for services to conservation and the environment.

ABC board member and Film Australia chair Steven Skala was also recognised.

Updated: Maureen Barron, CEO of Screen Qld received an AM for service to the Australian film and television industry.

Writer Reg Watson (Neighbours, Sons and Daughters, Prisoner) received an AM for service to the media as a pioneer in the creation and production of serial television drama.

Source: Herald Sun

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