News January 27, 2019

Australia Day Honours: Label executives, radio hosts, artists, studio owners among recipients

Australia Day Honours: Label executives, radio hosts, artists, studio owners among recipients
Image: Cyrus Meher-Homji

Universal Music Australia’s GM of Classics and Jazz, Cyrus Meher-Homji, Bakehouse Studios and SLAM co-founders Helen Marcou and Quincy McLean, Brisbane music retailer Barry Bull and former Helpmann awards producer Jon Nicholls joined artists as Human Nature, Sherbet co-founder-turned- producer Garth Porter, Olivia Newton-John, Kylie Minogue and Lou Bennett of Tiddas/ Black Arm Band on the Australia Day Honours list on the weekend.

Meher-Homji, who trained as a concert pianist in Perth, Sydney and London, and holds a Master’s degree in musicology said, “I am deeply honoured to have been awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia.

“Professionally, there has never been a more exciting time to be working with classical music and jazz, and with the opportunities for the parallel universes of curation and rediscovery; what was once termed as ‘niche’ finally gets the chance to escape those self-imposed chains and be recognized for what it really is: music for all to enjoy.”

Universal Music Group chair and CEO Sir Lucian Grainge commented, “There are few people in Australia, or the world for that matter, who have done as much as Cyrus to advance jazz and classical music” while George Ash, president of the company’s Asia Pacific operations called him “a tireless champion for the arts, for artists and for the development of culture via the creative process that is music.”

The names below were gonged for their contribution to entertainment and for charitable indeavours.


Olivia Newton-John, already awarded the Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) and Britain’s Order of the British Empire (OBE), was given a higher honour, as an entertainer and “for eminent service” to community health, particularly for people living with cancer,  through support for medical research.


Kylie Minogue


Dr Cindy Bennett, member of Tiddas and Black Arm Band and contribution to the indigenous community.

John Barrington, chair of the Perth International Arts Festival.

Timothy Coldwell, founder member, performer tent designer, rigger, mentor, and administrator of Circus Oz.

Jon Faine, outgoing ABC774 Radio, Melbourne presenter and contribution to the legal service including the Fitzroy Legal Service and past member of the Social Security Appeals Tribunal.

Sally Goldner, a presenter on Melbourne’s 3CR and Joy 94.9 and service to the  LGBTIQ+  community through founding Transgender Victoria and Transfamily.

Anita Jacoby, producer for TV shows including The Gruen Transfer and Gruen Nation, and work with community mental health.

Julie McCrossin, ABC radio and TV presenter and service to the LGBTIQ+ advocacy roles.

Thomas MacGuire, president, Australian Hotels Association Queensland.

Quincy McLean, promoter and advocate for live performance, co-owner of Bakehouse Studios in Melbourne, co-founder of SLAM (Save Live Australia’s Music) and board member of The Push.

Helen Marcou, promoter and advocate for live performance, co-owner of Bakehouse Studios in Melbourne, co-founder of SLAM (Save Live Australia’s Music) and advocate and an inaugural member of the Victorian  Government  Sexual Harassment of Women at Licensed Venues taskforce.

Prof. Sarah Miller, professor of performance at University of Wollongong and contribution to performing arts through research.

Robert O’Keefe, inaugural general manager, Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, since 1995, for service to Queensland tourism and business.

Garth Porter: founder and principal songwriter with Sherbet, and now music producer primarily for country music acts.

Alexandra Sloan, presenter at ABC Radio Canberra.

Ignatius Jones (Juan Ignacio Trapaga), one-time singer with Jimmy & The Boys, writer, director, artistic director of Vivid Sydney, previously AD of Sydney Mardi Gras Parade and events in China and Canada.

Lynn Williams OAM, founder and artistic director of Gondwana Choirs.

Medal (OAM)

Toby Allen

Phil Burton

Andrew Tierney

Michael Tierney

Founding members Human Nature, and for charity work in community well-being and children’s hospitals, Youth off The Streets and Sony Foundation in Australia, and AIDS and cancer research in the US.

Zeljko Bedic, studio owner who managed the release of a number of charity singles around the Port Arthur massacres, war in Croatia, suicide prevention and national reconciliation.

Barry Bull, Brisbane music retailer, author, director of the Gift of Sound, co-founder of Music Industry Association of Queensland and inaugural chair of the Australian Music Retailers Association.

Owen Chambers, past senior music producer, Classic FM.

William Clegg, past federal president of Club Managers Association Australia.

Michael Evans, past trustee of Queensland Performing Arts Trust.

Garry Gibson, TV production pioneer, founding member of RATS Club (Retired Radio and Television Survivors).

Warwick Hadfield, breakfast presenter for Radio National, former marketing manager of ABC Tasmania.

Adrian Jackson, jazz critic and past artistic director for Wangaratta Festival of Jazz and Blues, Stonnington Jazz Festival and Melbourne International Jazz Festival.

Stuart Kollmorgen, for service to LGTBI+ community through presenting JOY FM’s That Sports Show and involvement in Midsumma festival.

Paul McGrath, CEO of community radio’s 90.1 NBC FM Broadcast Centre.

Cyrus Meher-Homji, GM of classics and jazz at Universal Music, creator and presenter of Good Listening (SBS, Foxtel) and past founder and managing editor of Soundscapes Australia.

Frank Mitchell, jazz discographer, researcher, writer and collector., author of the Australian Jazz on Record series, Blistered Heels: Jazz and Hot Dance Music in Australia in the Twenties and Happy Feet: Dancing and swinging in Australia in the Thirties.

Jon Nicholls, past executive producer of the Helpmann Awards and chair of its administrative committee, and former director of programming at Arts Council of South Australia.

Ellen O’Shea, freelance theatre publicist for various musicals and past publicity manager, Victorian Arts Centre and head of publicity at Ten Network.

Leigh Radford, past head, Rural and  National  Programs, 

ABC Regional.

Karina Sysko, past president Western Australian Music Teachers’ Association

Tim Thorpe, weekend station manager, Triple R, Melbourne.

Sosina Tewabe Wogayehu, manager, AfroOz Entertainment, circus performer and founder of Gamo Circus School of Ethiopia

In addition, Northern Territory hip-hop artist and youth mentor Danzal Baker, aka Baker Boy, was crowned Young Australian of the Year 2019.

The Gold Coast Australia Day organisation presented its

Cultural Achievement award to Blues on Broadbeach and Groundwater Music festival director Mark Duckworth.

Its Community Service Award went to Gold Coast singing group The Blenders.

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