Former Australian Writers’ Guild president Jan Sardi and actor Robyn Nevin were among the screen professionals to receive Queen’s Birthday Honours over the long weekend.
Sardi, Oscar-nominated for Shine and whose credits also include Mao’s Last Dancer and Love’s Brother, was named an Officer to the Order of Australia (AO) for distinguished service to the film and television industries as a screenwriter and director, and to professional guilds.
Co-collaborator Mac Gudgeon, who worked with Sardi on projects like Ground Zero and The Secret River, said: “It’s a richly deserved honour. Not only because Jan’s a bloody good writer, but because it’s recognition of his selfless service, generosity of spirit, and courage and persistence in fighting for performance writers’ creative rights and remuneration for over 40 years.
“And the timing couldn’t be more ironic given Jan’s passionate advocacy for what’s unique about Australian culture, while the Federal Government, the so-called custodians of that culture, are prevaricating over whether to insist that the likes of Netflix, YouTube, Apple TV and Amazon Prime should be obligated to make some original Australian stories for our screens.”
Nevin was also named an AO for her distinguished service to the performing arts as an acclaimed actor and artistic director, and as a mentor and role model.
The actress has been a stalwart of Australian screens since the 1960s, with recent credits including the upcoming film Relic, Doctor Doctor, Back In Very Small Business, and Upper Middle Bogan. The honour also recognises her work as artistic director of both the Sydney Theatre Company and the Royal Queensland Theatre.
Musician and presenter Ray Burgess, actor Tottie Goldsmith, production designer Robbie Perkins and presenter Marcus Westbury were among those to receive a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM).
Host of Flashez, Rock & Roll Circus and After Dark, Goldsmith was honoured for service to the entertainment industry, and to the community.
Goldsmith, whose credits include Underbelly Files: Infiltration, Neighbours and Blue Heelers, received the OAM for service to the community, and to the performing arts. The niece of Olivia Newton-John, she is the goodwill ambassador of her aunt’s Cancer Wellness and Research Centre.
Perkins was named an OAM for service to film and television production and set design. His extensive list of credits as a production/set designer and art director include the Miss Fisher film and TV franchise, Newton’s Law, Brothers’ Nest, Wentworth, and Charlotte’s Web.
Westbury, CEO of the Collingwood Arts Precinct and presenter of ABC’s Bespoke and Not Quite Art, was honoured for service to the contemporary arts.