Mick Fanning, a triple world champion surfer and Mark Webber, a former F1 driver were among prominent Australian stars honoured by the country.
They were present on the honour list for their services beyond their excellence on the world’s playing fields.
The 35-year old Fanning made headlines as an Australian Male Surfer of the Year for six times. He also is a three time world surfing champion.
The Officers of the Order of Australia (AO) was conferred on both sportsmen. For Fanning, he was recognized not only for his contribution to sports, but also for his contribution to sports as well.
Fanning, who supports the Starlight Foundation, said:
“There’s nothing like putting smiles on kids’ faces,’’ he said. “I’ve taken some of them surfing and I do hospital visits and I get a lot out of it myself. I recommend it to everyone else.’’
The duo was not the only sports personalities honoured for their sportsmanship. Kim Brennan, an Olympic gold medallist, Wallaby great Phil Kearns, former world triathlon champion Michellie Jones, former sprinter Melinda Gainsford-Taylor, and former Tour de France cyclist Robbie McEwen were among those honoured.
They were conferred with the Members of the Order of Australia (AM), due to their contribution both to sports and the community as well.
Rob Fildes, the President of Athletics Australia and Justin Madden, a former AFL star now turned Victorian Sports minister joined the sportsmen in receiving the honour.
Brennan who won gold in the Olympics rowing competition was recognized for her inspirational victory in the single sculls during the Rio Olympics held at Brazil.
Apart from that, she was also honoured for her work to protect the welfare of elite athletes and in promoting healthy lifestyles amongst them.
The new Rio Olympic Gold medallists as well as their Paralympic gold medallists were given the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM).