And The Winner Is

Power players Lavarch, Eddington and Bell recognised in Aus Day gongs

As per usual, sports stars, artists and scientists featured heavily on this year's Australia Day honours list. But lurking amongst the deserving do-gooders were some seriously powerful players.

Michael Lavarch

Lawyer and former attorney-general Lavarch's "distinguished service to the law and legal education" has seen him appointed an Officer (AO) of the Order of Australia.

Lavarch, from Spring Hill, Queensland, was attorney-general from 1993 to 1996. He's best known for initiating an inquiry into the separation of Aboriginal children from their families that eventually led to Kevin Rudd's apology to the Stolen Generations. He is currently executive dean of law at Queensland University of Technology, chairman of the Financial Ombudsman Service and a director of the Australian Energy Market Operator.

Lavarch is also one half of power couple Behrendt/Lavarch. Last year he married Larissa Behrendt, professor of law at the University of Technology, Sydney and chair of the Gillard government's review of indigenous higher education.

Rod Eddington

Infrastructure and events heavyweight Eddington has been made an Officer (AO) of the Order of Australia for his "distinguished service to business and commerce".

Number 5 on The Power Index's Melbourne power list, Eddington is chair of Infrastructure, director of News Corporation and a chairman of JP Morgan.

As well as being directly responsible for literally changing the face of Melbourne, Eddington holds further key positions – director of China Light and Power, board member of John Swire and Sons, chair of the Victorian Major Events Company and director of both the Victorian Government Asia Advisory Committee and the Victorian Business Round Table.

Virginia Bell

The Honourable Justice Virginia Bell has been made a Companion (AC) of the Order of Australia for "eminent service to the judiciary and to the law". Bell has been a Justice of the High Court of Australia since 2009 and prior to that she was a judge at the Supreme Court of NSW from 1999.

Bell, who lives in Sydney, began her career as a solicitor in 1978 and was a volunteer legal officer at Redfern Legal Centre from 1987 to 1994. She is also well known for her gay rights campaigning – she took part in the first Mardi Gras rally in Sydney in 1978 and is the first lesbian to serve in the High Court.

Robert Every

The business and steel industry highflyer has been appointed an Officer (AO) of the Order of Australia for "distinguished services to business".

Every, from Sydney's Elizabeth Bay, is chairman of building company Boral and a non-executive chairman of Wesfarmers. He had held top positions in steel companies including Sims Group, OneSteel and BHP Steel.

Simon Mordant

Arts power player Simon Mordant has been appointed a Member (AM) of the Order of Australia for "services to the arts and to the cultural environment of Australia".

Mordant, who lives in Darling Point, Sydney, holds influential positions with Sydney's Museum of Contemporary Art and the Australian Venice Biennale. He is chairman of the MCA and the MCA Foundation (and he has frequently hit the headlines since he made a $15 million donation to help redevelop the MCA), and a director of the Sydney Theatre Company.

Terry Moran

The former head of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet has been made a Companion (AC of the Order of Australia for his "eminent service to the community through public sector leadership", in recognition of his work on policy development, program delivery and effective governance.

A born-and-bred Melburnian, Moran was considered Australia's leading public servant up until his retirement in August 2011. From March 2008 until August 2011, he headed the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet under the Rudd and then the Gillard governments.

Moran is still an influential player behind the scenes: he was appointed chairman of Sydney's Barangaroo Delivery Authority last August.


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