How the arts fared in this year’s Australia Day Honours

The arts did better this year with Australia Day Honours, pipping the number administered for service to sports. We take a look at the mix and what it means to valuing the arts, moving forward.

The Australia Day 2021 Honours List was distributed under embargo last week. Between then, and yesterday’s announcement, celebrated veteran journalist and former ABC current affairs host, Kerry O’Brien advised the Secretary of the Order of Australia that he would declined his appointment as an Officer in the Order of Australia (AO).

It was a kind of double shock. O’Brien’s stance was in protest at the ‘deeply insensitive and divisive decision’ to give the country’s highest award to former tennis player Margaret Court.

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Gina Fairley is ArtsHub's National Visual Arts Editor. For a decade she worked as a freelance writer and curator across Southeast Asia and was previously the Regional Contributing Editor for Hong Kong based magazines Asian Art News and World Sculpture News. Prior to writing she worked as an arts manager in America and Australia for 14 years, including the regional gallery, biennale and commercial sectors. She is based in Mittagong, regional NSW. Twitter: @ginafairley Instagram: fairleygina