Despite ongoing COVID postponements, Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC Governor of New South Wales, was finally able to start presenting Order of Australia awards to various recipients.

On Tuesday 8 February, the Award Ceremonies commenced in the Government House, the heritage-listed official residence and office of Her Excellency, for the 28th Governor to occupy this Government House. She has held this position since 2 May 2019.

Philip Feinstein in intense conversation with the Honourable Margaret Beazley and Hugo Weaving.

After Guards of Honour escorted the Award recipients to their places, our National Anthem was played by a five-piece Police Quintet. The recipients were then invested and congratulated by the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC Governor of New South Wales as she handed them their respective medals and certificates. During the ceremony various achievements about the medal winners were read out.

Philip Feinstein was recognised for his refugee work and other achievements  –  it was also stated how long he had been a volunteer writer for the Australasian Muslim Times AMUST.

Amongst the other recipients for medal awards were Hugo Weaving, distinguished actor and mentor of young actors; Khalfan Rashid, a refugee from Burundi for considerable bravery following a high speed accident in September 2017; and Matthew Airy, Matthew Bassford, Cairlin Langerak and Arun Trevitt, for their actions following high speed accidents.

Khalfan Rashid from Burundi proudly displaying his medal

Following the ceremonies, the recipients, guests and officials were invited to the magnificent gardens in Government House where refreshments based on NSW produce were served.

It should be noted that construction had begun on this new Government House in 1821 and was influenced in its location and architectural style by the existing Governor’s Stables, completed in 1836. Locally quarried sandstone was used for the construction.

This new Government House was designed by Edward Blore and built in the Gothic Revival style characterized by castellated towers and other medieval features.

Everybody intermingled where pleasant conversation continued for another two hours.

Other Order of Australia awards have continued during the month.