Three Locals Recognised in the King’s Birthday Honours List

    Three Lane Cove council area residents have been recognised in this year’s King’s Birthday honours list.

    The Governor-General today announced Honours and Awards for 737 Australians, including awards in the Order of Australia (General and Military Divisions), meritorious awards and recognition for conspicuous service.

    “I would like to congratulate all those recognised in today’s Honours List. Some names are well-known, but the vast majority are not – they are people who work tirelessly and selflessly to make a difference in our community,” the Governor-General said.

    “Through today’s recognition we shine a light on their efforts, the impact they have and the difference they make. On behalf of all Australians, I thank recipients for their service and congratulate them on their recognition.

    “This is my last Honours list as Governor-General. Presiding over investiture ceremonies and having the opportunity to meet so many diverse recipients in our honours system has been a tremendous privilege. Learning their stories has been inspiring and makes me enormously optimistic for our future.

    “The honours and awards system belongs to all Australians and, by nominating people for recognition in the Order of Australia, we all have a role to play. I have been steadfast that the Order must reflect the diversity of our community – I am pleased by the progress we have made over the last five years. For it to continue, and it must, we need people to take the time to nominate people that inspire them.”

    In addition to the 493 recipients of awards in the General Division of the Order of Australia (6 AC, 15 AO, 131 AM and 341 OAM), today’s Honours list includes:

    • 25 recipients of awards in the Military Division of the Order of Australia (3 AO, 7 AM and 15 OAM)
    • 162 Meritorious awards
    • 57 Conspicuous awards

    Recipients will attend investiture ceremonies at Government House in their respective state or territory in coming months to receive the insignia of their award.

    This list also includes 34 Australians recognised for their contribution in support of Australia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These individuals will also be included in an ongoing and permanent COVID-19 Honour roll.

    OAM in the General Division

    Miss Heather Elizabeth Garnsey, Lane Cove NSW 2066 for services to genealogy.

    Heather Garney told ITC

    “It’s terrific to be recognised for the contribution I’ve made to the family history community over the past 40 years.  It’s important that everyone has an understanding of their past and the opportunity to learn more about their ancestors, and I’ve loved helping people achieve that.

    I’ve been a Lane Cove resident since 1988 and love living here too!”

    Heather Garnsey

    Society of Australian Genealogists

    • Honorary Member, current.
    • Executive Officer, 1988-2020.
    • Fellow, 1992.
    • Former Co-Editor, Descent (quarterly journal), and various other Society publications.
    • Co-Convenor, Australasian Congress on Genealogy and Heraldry, 2018.
    • Employee, 1984-2020.
    • Member, since 1979.

    NSW and ACT Association of Family History Societies

    • President, 1989-1994.
    • Former Treasurer.
    • Former Committee Member.
    • Representative Delegate, Society of Australian Genealogists.

    Dubbo and District Family History Society

    • Patron, since 1991.
    • Life Member.
    • Member, since c1985.

    History – Other

    • Vice-President, Australasian Federation of Family History Organisations, 1991-1995.
    • Foundation Member, State Archives Customer Council (later Advisory Group), 1990s-2019.
    • Family Historian, since early 1970s.
    • Speaker, various conferences and seminars, Australia, since 1988.
    • Co-Compiler, Sydney Benevolent Asylum Inmates 1857-1900 website, since 1997.

    Professional Associations

    • Associate Fellow, Society of Genealogists (London), current.
    • Honorary Fellow, Heraldry and Genealogy Society of Canberra (Family History ACT), current.

    Awards and Recognition include:

    Award for Meritorious Service to Family History, Australasian Federation of Family History Organisations.


    Mr John Francis Ford, Greenwich NSW 2065 for services to community health.

    John Ford told ITC:

    “To be nationally recognized and honored by my country today is one of the proudest moments of my life and I shall treasure it always.
    I salute past and present staff and board members of Randwick and Westmead Children’s Hospitals and their Foundation, with whom I’ve been privileged to work for more than 25 years. They are the heroes and deserve all the recognition.
    I thank my family and friends for supporting me, especially my wife Sally and children Daisy, Laura and Elliot as well as those who participated in my nomination.”


    Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation (SCHF)

    • Chair, 2005-2012.
    • Director, 1997-2012.

    Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network 

    • Director, 2012-2022.
    • Member, Finance, Capital Works and Performance Committee, current.
    • Former Chair, Capital Works Committee.


    • Director, Audio-Visual Copyright Society (Screenrights), 1997-2021.
    • Chair, Greenwich Village Games, 2008, and 2012.

    Law and Business

    • Lawyer, Fordthinking, since 2009.
    • Executive Vice-President and Managing Director, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Sydney, 1995-2009.
    •  Former Lawyer and Partner, Blake Dawson Waldron (now Ashurst), 1988-1995.
    • Solicitor, Freehills, 1981-1988.

    AM in the General Divison

    Mrs Concetta Perna, Riverview NSW 2066 for significant services to the Australian Italian Community.

    Concetta Perna told ITC

    “I’m deeply honoured to receive this award from the Order of Australia Association. It symbolizes not just a personal achievement but also the collective efforts of my colleagues, friends, and the wider community.

    I wish to thank the members of The National Italian Australian Women’s Association, Dante Alighieri Society, Scalabrini Villages, Gruppo dell’Amicizia, Associazione I Nonni and Edizioni Farinelli. Their belief in my vision, their encouragement and energy have been crucial in reaching this milestone and making my journey special.

    I’m fortunate to have met extraordinary mentors who have helped shape the person I am today. I am truly grateful to the Order of Australia Association for this recognition and the opportunities it brings.

    It inspires me to push the boundaries of what is possible and make further contributions that uphold the values and standards represented by this award, which I dedicate to my four-month-old grandson, Alexander Rocco, wishing him to become a proud and good Australian citizen.”

    National Italian-Australian Women’s Association

    • President, since 2010.
    • Organiser of social, economic, cultural conferences and events for the Italian-Australian community.

    Lucanian Association in Sydney

    • Vice-President, 1998-late 2018s.
    •  Committee Member, former.

    Dante Alighieri Society, Sydney

    • President, current.
    • Former Vice-President.
    • Didactic Program Director, 2011-2019.

    Committee and Advisory Roles

    • Committee Member, Friendship Group E. Inglese, since 2018.
    • Member, Ministerial Advisory Committee for the Italian Community, 2016-2018.
    • Member, Italian Australian Opera Foundation, 2007-2013.


    • Volunteer, Scalabrini Villages, 25 years.
    • Donor, Mission of the Sisters of St. Anne, Philippines, since early 1990s.
    • Patron, Handital (Association of Italian-Australian Families with Disabled Children), 2005-2021.


    • Lecturer, Italian Language and Literature, Department of European Studies, Macquarie University, Sydney, 1995-2015.
    • Tutor, Italian Studies, Five Dock Learning Centre, Sydney, 2001-2015.
    • Tutor, Italian Studies, Centre for Continuing Education, The University of Sydney, 2005-2010.
    • Teacher, Law and Economics, Quintino Sella High School of Turin and ITC Omnicomprensivo of Milan, Italy, 1979-1984.

    Edizioni Farinelli

    • Editorial Director, 2004-2010.
    • Author and Editor, UFFA! Idiomatic Expressions and Much More, 2005.


    • Editor, Sempre con Te, Sperling and Kupfer, 2020.
    • Editor/Author, A Journey Back to Origins, Association i Nonni, 2019.
    • Co-author (with Giancarla Minuti Guareschi), Out of the Fog, Two Lives in the Shadow of Giovannino Guareschi, Falco Editore, 2015.
    • Editor, Sydney and the Italian Touch: Italian-Australians in Sydney, Italian Cultural Association and Five Dock Learning Centre, 2011.
    • Editor, Thirty years of Lucanian Emigration to Australia, Lucania Association of Sydney.
    • Editor, Una Meravigliosa Favola I Villaggi Scalabrini, Scalabrini Village.
    • Author, Not Only a Sea Trunk, stories of Italian migrants, Edizioni Farinelli 2004.

    Awards and Recognition include:

    •  ‘A castagna ra critica’ prize, Lucanian Cultural Association, 2018.
    •  Mediterranean Award, 2017.

    How Do You Nominate Someone For An Order of Australia?

    The Order of Australia recognises Australians who have demonstrated outstanding service or exceptional achievement.

    Anyone can nominate any Australian for an award in the Order of Australia. If you know someone worthy, nominate them now at

    The Order of Australia also has a Military Division. Awards in the Military Division are recommended to the Governor-General by the Minister for Defence.

    There are four levels of award:

        • AC: Companion of the Order of Australia, for eminent achievement and merit of the highest degree in service to Australia or to humanity at large
        • AO: Officer of the Order of Australia, for distinguished service of a high degree to Australia or to humanity at large
        • AM: Member of the Order of Australia, for service in a particular locality or field of activity, or to a particular group
        • OAM: Medal of the Order of Australia, for service worthy of particular recognition

    Where did you hear that?  On ITC, of course!!

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