The Australia Day 2021 Honours List, recognises 844 Australians. Two prominent Indian Australians feature in this year’s Honours List. Late Dr Amarjit Singh More (of Woolgoolga) and Dr Anandhan Perumal Naidoo (of Coffs Harbour) have been awarded OAM.
Amarjit Singh More OAM
Dr Amarjit Singh More was first honoured in 2001 when he was awarded Centenary Medal for service to the Centenary of Federation celebrations.
Dr More was only 68 years old when he passed away on April 25, 2020. He has been now posthumously awarded OAM in 2021 Honours List for service to medicine, and to the local and Sikh communities of Woolgoolga.
Dr More was also founding member of the Woolgoolga Gurudwara. His contribution to Australian Sikh Games is also recognized.
On the mainstream level, Dr More also made huge contribution to Sub-Branch, RSL Woolgoolga. He was also a founding member of the Lions Club of Woolgoolga 1976.
Dr Anandhan Perumal Naidoo OAM
Dr Anandhan Perumal Naidoo has also been awarded an OAM in the 2021 Honours List. Dr Anandhan Perumal Naidoo has been recognized for service to paediatric medicine.
Dr Naidoo has served as paediatrician, in private practice in Coffs Harbour, for many years and Coffs Harbour Base Hospital, since 1984.
Dr Naidoo is Fellow, Royal Australasian College of Physicians, since 1984. He is also Member of the Australian Paediatric Society.
The full list includes:
- 570 recipients of awards in the General Division of the Order of Australia (4 AC, 36 AO, 159 AM and 371 OAM) – gazette
- 28 recipients of awards in the Military Division of the Order of Australia (2 AO, 11 AM and 15 OAM) – gazette
- 176 meritorious awards – gazette
- 70 Distinguished and Conspicuous awards – gazette
- Some of the first recipients recognised, at least in part, for their contribution in support of Australia’s response to the 2019-20 Bushfires and COVID-19 pandemic (more nominations are likely to be considered for future lists).
Margaret Court award controversy
Australian Tennis player Margaret Court is being promoted from an Officer of the Order of Australia to a Companion (AC). Margaret Court is on record to express her opposition to gay marriage. has said she “loves” gay people, but doesn’t believe in gay marriage.
This has angered many prominent Aussies who wanted her excluded for her ‘insensitivity’ towards gay people. Former PM Malcolm Turnbull who has also been honoured along with Margaret Court also expressed his unease being in the same list.
Mr Turnbull told the Guardian there was “no shortage of irony” that he was being honoured for his contributions to marriage equality given the furious backlash generated by Court’s award.
Australia’s well known journalist and face of the ABC for many years, Kerry O’Brien has rejected his Australia Day award, saying the decision to give former tennis great Margaret Court the country’s highest honour is “deeply insensitive” and “divisive”.
According to the ABC news, the former host of the ABC’s Four Corners and 7.30 programs wrote to the Governor-General’s secretary Paul Singer on Sunday knocking back his appointment as an Officer (AO) of the Order of Australia — the second-highest honour.
Mr O’Brien said he could not accept his honour from the same body that would make “such a deeply insensitive and divisive decision”.
“Margaret Court was a great tennis player who thrilled most Australians in her tennis years including me, but her hurtful and divisive criticisms relating to the fundamental rights of the LGBTQ+ community are clearly repugnant to many Australians,” O’Brien wrote.
Announcing the list, the Governor-General said:
“On behalf of all Australians, I congratulate everyone recognised in the Australia Day Honours list.
“The individuals we celebrate today come from all parts of our great nation and have served the community in almost every way conceivable. They’re diverse and unique but there are some common characteristics, including selflessness, commitment and dedication.
“Recipients have not put their hand up to be recognised. Most would consider the achievements that they are being recognised for to be ‘ordinary’ or just what they do. Therein is the great strength of our system – recipients in the Order of Australia have been nominated by their peers, considered by an independent process and, today, recognised by the nation.
“The sum of these contributions speaks to our nation’s greatest strength – its people.”
Read the full list here.