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Services to aged care recognised in 2017 Queen’s Birthday Honours list

Nearly 900 people across Australia were recognised in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours list, including several for their services to aged care and the wider community. 

Benetas CEO Sandra Hills received a Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia in the General Division (Photo: BarryGittins)
Benetas CEO Sandra Hills received a Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia in the General Division (Photo: BarryGittins)

CEO of Benetas, Sandra Hills received a Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia in the General Division, for her service to aged care in Victoria. She has been with Benetas since 2009 and was one of the driving forces behind the formation of the peak body group, Leading Aged Care Services (LASA) Australia. Over the year Ms Hills has been advocating with and on behalf of order people for many years, and she regularly spends her personal time coaching and mentoring people outside of Benetas.

In particular, she has sought to support the development of women leaders, through coaching, mentoring and sponsoring opportunities, and is an active advocate of women in business and the community.

Ms Hills said she was absolutely honoured to receive the OAM.

“I was shocked when I received the call. But I am so grateful. I have been lucky enough to work in the community sector for a number of years, supporting disadvantaged people of all ages, and particularly older people, allowing me to work alongside some wonderful people,” she says. 

“This award is such a wonderful honour. And I hope to be able to use it as a platform to further drive change in the aged care sector in Australia.”

New South Wales resident Marion Wilson's lifetime commitment to nursing services was awarded an OAM for her services to the community of Canowindra. She told a local news outlet the difficulties of her career in nursing were easily compensated by the rewards.

“Being in the beginning of community health was not only a huge challenge but an extremely rewarding one,” she explains in the Central Western Daily. “What we did all those years ago was most rewarding, exciting, challenging and scaring sometimes.”

Ms Wilson assisted in the development of multi-purpose services in the Central West, co-locating community health services, aged-care facilities and residential care and acute inpatient services in the 1990s.

Playing an active role in the other areas, Ms Wilson is the Chair of Canowindra Food Basket, Cultural Officer, Canowindra Branch, Country Women's Association of New South Wales, current and Board Member of the Canowindra Retirement Village Association.

Giuseppe Pino Migliorino, who has been named a Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia, was just five when he moved to Australia. He told SBS he was ashamed of his Italian heritage when growing up and found it hard to balance the two cultures he was a part of.

He says the aged-care program is framed around ageing with dignity for his community, who struggle with growing old in a country that is not their homeland.

As well as aged care, award recipients came from a diverse range of sectors including astronomy, fashion, floristry, wine and aviation.

Visit the Australian Governor General’s website to see the full list of this year’s recipients. 

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