Congratulations 2020 Senior Australian of the Year, Professor John Newnham AM and Australia Day Honour recipients

Australia’s leading seniors’ advocacy organisation, COTA Australia, today congratulated the 2020 Senior Australian of the Year Professor John Newnham AM, national finalists and individuals who were awarded Australia Day Honours for their work with older Australians.

COTA Acting Chief Executive Corey Irlam commended all the Senior Australian of the Year finalists for their exceptional advocacy across a range of areas including the environment, disability rights, men’s health, road safety, culture and obstetrics.

“Professor Newnham’s contributions are an outstanding example of the contributions that older Australians make across Australia every day,” Mr Irlam said.

“As a world-renowned obstetrician Professor Newnham has conducted research for more than thirty years and directly contributed to worldwide changes in clinical practice of the management and prevention of pre-term labour across the globe.”

“Through his tireless efforts, Professor Newnham developed a program that reduced premature births by 8% in WA and founded a world first national program to prevent pre-term births.”

Mr Irlam noted his appreciation for the contributions of all the state Senior of the Year recipients who made up the 2020 national finalists.

2020 Senior Australian of the Year finalists included Landcare Activist Dr Graeme Stevenson (TAS), join disability activist Sue Salthouse (ACT), Environmental Educator Sue Lennox (NSW), road safety champion Dr Raymond Shuey APM (VIC), Men’s health activist Peter Dornan AM (QLD), artist and environmental adviser Banduk Marika AO (NT) and volunteer Sylvia McMillan (SA).

“All the state winners should be commended for their outstanding contributions in their individual fields, each of them deserves the recognition for their untiring efforts in their chosen field,” Mr Irlam said.

Mr Irlam also congratulated the Australia Day Honour Awards recipients who were recognised for their work on behalf of the aged, along with the many older Australians recognised for their volunteer and charity work.

“This year’s Australia Day Honours recognise a wide range of people including researchers, advocates and volunteers, all of whom have dedicated themselves to improving the lives of older Australians,” he said.

“Along with the dozens of older Australians recognised for their contributions in their communities, it is particularly pleasing to see the recognition of these people in the Australian Honours system.”

Media contact: Corey Irlam 0401 738 996; Jenny Stokes 0478 504 280

List of Australia Day recipients awarded for activities related to working with older Australians.
For more information see:


Officer (AO) in the General Division

  • Professor Robert Graham CUMMING  (NSW) For distinguished service to medical education and research, particularly to ageing and age-related diseases.
  • John Reginald PIGGOTT  (NSW), For distinguished service to education, to population ageing research, and to public finance policy development 

Member (AM) in the General Division

  • Sabine Cornelia PHILLIPS  (VIC), For significant service to aged welfare, and to the legal profession.
  • Dorothy Hazel LIPMANN  (VIC) For significant service to the elderly, and to the visual arts

Medal (OAM) in the General Division

  • Lorna APELT  (QLD), For service to aged welfare.
  • Craig Robert GEAR  (NSW) For service to aged welfare and seniors rights.
  • Doreen Patricia GUNN  (VIC) For service to aged welfare.
  • Colleen MANDICOS  (NSW) For service to aged welfare.
  • Colin George MANN  (NSW) For service to aged welfare.
  • Glenn Elliott MUSKETT  (WA) For service to aged welfare.
  • John Sydney WAREHAM  (NSW) For service to aged welfare, and to the community.