WOB members, associates, recognised in Queen's Birthday Honours


Women on Boards congratulates the WOB members, friends and associates who were among the almost 1000 Australians recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.


Women took 40 per cent of the total awards in the honours list (388 recipients out of a 992 overall) and 46 per cent in the general division (307 of 699).

While this was an increase on previous years - thanks in part to work of campaigns such as Honour a Woman - there is still more work to be done to get 50 per cent of awards going to women.

Some of the wonderful WOB women honoured include:

Professor Tanya Monro

Of the eight honours at the highest level of Companion of the Order of Australia (AC), five were women, including WOB member Professor Tanya Monro. Australia's first female Chief Defence Scientist,  Professor Monro, has been appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia for her service to science and technological innovation. Prior to her role as Chief Defence Scientist she served as Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President of Research and Innovation at the University of South Australia. 

On Twitter, Professor Monro said: “I’m grateful and to be frank somewhat gobsmacked to be recognised as a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) in the Queen’s Birthday honours list. And there are some amazing people on this list (as always). It’s an honour to be counted amongst them.”

Throughout her career Professor Monro has been an advocate for diversity and inclusion and championed the Science in Gender Equity (SAGE) initiative. In 2019, she was commended for her contributions to the advancement of gender equality across Australia, receiving the Australian Award for Excellence in Women’s Leadership. 

>> Read our story on Professor Tanya Monro HERE

Dr Marlene Kanga AM 

 In recognition of her entrepreneurship, advocacy for women in STEM and leadership at some of the largest engineering and technology organisations, WOB member Dr Marlene Kanga has been appointed Officer of the Order of Australia (AO). She is the only female engineer to receive an AO since 2017.

“Less than 40 percent of Australian honours are made to women and an even smaller percentage to engineers and to Indian-Australians,” Marlene, a recipient of Member of Order of Australia (2014), told Indian Link News.

“This recognition is very important, especially as a role model for young people and for women and girls, to consider engineering as a career that makes a positive difference for our world. It is also important for Australia, to recognise the important contributions that overseas-born Australians can and are making."

>> Listen to Marlene Kanga and Catherine Fox talking about diversity in a WOB Panel discussion HERE

Engineers Australia’s National President from 2013 to 2014 and President of the World Federation of Engineering Organisations from 2017 to 2019, Marlene was also vice-president of the International Network for Women Engineers and Scientists (2011-2017) and in June 2022 was named one of the first foundation Fellows of the International Science Council.

She has been named in Top 100 Women of Influence in Australia and the Top 10 Women Engineers in Australia. A Chartered chemical engineer, Kanga is also director of video analytics company iOmniscient and non-executive director of Sydney Water Corporation, Air Services Australia, Standards Australia and BESydney. She was awarded Professional Engineer of the Year in 2018.

Cristina Cifuentes

WOB member Cristina Cifuentes is an Australian expert in energy policy and markets, and was awarded an Order of Australia for her significant service to economic and energy sector regulation and to consumer protection. 

A former board member of the Australian Energy Regulator, Australia's national energy market regulator, Cristina was head of legal policy at ASIC (1990-=1993) and has worked in both the private and public sectors, with experience at NSW Treasury, the Reserve Bank of Australia, as well as the Australian Securities Commission. She was also an ACCC Commissioner from 2013 to 2020.

Cristina’s work supporting and advocating for women and people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities was recognised at the ACCC where she was involved in mentoring, within the Women in Energy international program.

Commenting on the need for women to have leadership roles on boards, Cristina said: “Women are, and should be, considered equally capable as men in terms of being developed as future leaders. This has to happen from their very first job, not 15 to 20 years into their work-life, when companies start to cast around looking for potential female directors. So whilst the commitment to getting more women on boards may be there, organisations need to do a lot more in terms of developing the talent and capabilities of their female staff from the very beginning. They also need to provide opportunities for them to continue to work meaningfully if they decide to take up family obligations.”

Catherine Fox

Walkley Award-winning journalist and champion for women, Catherine Fox was made AM for significant contribution to journalism and to gender equality and diversity.

During a long career with the Financial Review, she edited several sections of the newspaper, and wrote the Corporate Woman column; and she has published five books, including “Stop Fixing Women” which along with her journalism was awarded the 2017 Walkley Award for Women’s Leadership in Media.

Catherine helped establish the annual Financial Review 100 Women of Influence Awards in 2012 and was named a Woman of Influence in 2018; she was a member of the Australian Defence Force Gender Equality Advisory Board, sits on the Australians Investing In Women board, and is co-founder of the Sydney Women’s Giving Circle.

Miriam Silva

A recent speaker at our Melbourne Director Lunch, Miriam Silva was made AM for significant service to the multicultural community of South Australia, and to women.

Miriam holds a number of positions on boards and committees, including Chair of the SA Premier's Council for Women, member of the TAFE SA Board, University of SA Council, SA Film Corporation Board and Islamic Museum board. She volunteers with a number of organisations including the Muslim Women's Association of SA and Rotary. 

Miriam is a member of the South Australian Women's Honour roll 2011, one of the inaugural 100 Women of Influence, winner of the Governor's Multicultural Award for the Private Sector 2012, Patron and a Life Member of the International Women's Day Association (SA) and is the Multicultural Patron for the SA Police Academy.


Other women recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours include:

  • Emeritus Professor Anne Josephine Green AC - For eminent service to science, particularly physics and astrophysics, as an educator and researcher, as a mentor to colleagues and students, and a role model to women.

  • Dr Patricia Selkirk AC - For eminent service to science and conservation, particularly through research of Antarctic and sub-Antarctic terrestrial ecosystems, to tertiary education, and as a mentor and champion for women.

  • Her Excellency the Honourable Dr Jeannette Young AC PSM - For eminent service to public health administration, to medicine & medical research, to the tertiary education sector, and as the 27th Governor appointed in Queensland.

  • Dr Carmen Lawrence AO - Australia’s first female state premier, Dr Lawrence - a professor emeritus and senior honorary research fellow at the University of WA's School of Psychological Sciences - has been recognised as an Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia (AO) for distinguished service to the people and parliaments of Australia and WA, to conservation, and to arts administration.

  • Ash Barty AO - Tennis player Ash Barty has also been recognised as an AO for distinguished service to tennis at the elite level and to youth development programs.

  • Mary Louise McLaws, AO - University of New South Wales epidemiologist and adviser to the World Health Organisation, Mary-Louise McLaws has been recognised as an AO for distinguished service to medical research, tertiary education and health administration.

  • Kerry Chant AO - NSW's Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant has also been appointed an AO for her service to public health and medicine. 

  • Catherine Hughes AM - Founding director at The Immunisation Foundation of Australia Catherine Hughes was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia today for her services to immunisation.

  • Dr Susan Marsden AM - Historian Susan Marsden received an AM honour for significant service to history and heritage as an author, academic and speaker.

  • Nyadol Nyuon, OAM - Melbourne lawyer Nyadol Nyuon has been awarded an OAM for her service to human rights and refugee women.

Congratulations to all recipients in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. Have we missed anyone? Let us know and we can update our list.

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