A CONTROVERSIAL but respected Supreme Court judge with a heart for upcoming Indigenous legal talent has topped the list of high-profile entertainers, activists and sporting legends receiving this year's Queen's Birthday honours.
NSW Chief Justice Tom Bathurst, who regularly speaks out about the dangers of mandatory sentencing and was recently on the panel which allowed a retrial for jailed Comancheros boss Mick Hawi, was awarded the Order of Australia for his years of service to the judiciary and the people of NSW.
The London-born judge, who first worked as a solicitor in Sydney in the early 70s, is widely regarded as a leader in Australia's legal profession and was instrumental in the implementation of uniform national rules of conduct.
Justice Bathurst shared the honour with CSIRO CEO Megan Clark who was recognised for her work in developing a public policy for technological sciences and child protection lobbyist Hetty Johnston, founder and director of Bravehearts.
The Seekers, who are currently on the road for their Jubilee tour, recieved the honour for distinguished service to the performing arts, contributions to Australian music, supporters of a range of not-for-profit organisations.
Veteran journalists Richard Wilkins and Mike Munro were also given nods for their dedication to the entertainment indusrty and charitable work while Channel Seven's resident celebrity vet Dr Harry Cooper was congratulated for his contribution to animal welfare.
Governor General Peter Cosgrove said the awards drew attention to the personal efforts of individuals, made willingly without thought of recognition and all recipients joined the company of those "whose actions have enriched our community and whose values we hold dear - compassion, dedication, generosity, tolerance, energetic ambition".
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.