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Barry Humphries honoured with highest Order of Australia accolade on King’s Birthday Honours list

The late comedian was one of six to be granted the top honour.
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Barry Humphries has been awarded the highest honour in the King’s Birthday Honours list.

The late comedian has been posthumously granted the title of Companion of the Order of Australia for his “eminent service to the arts as a comedian, actor, author, satirist and entertainment.”

The Governor-General’s citation also recognised Humphries for his service “to the promotion of Australian culture, and as a patron of organisations.”

Humphries is one of 919 Order of Australia honour recipients for 2023.

(Image: Getty)

Humphries was one of six recipients of the highest accolade, with former Labor minister Jenny Macklin and former Premier of Western Australia Colin Barrett also receiving the top honour.

The entertainer, best known for his character Dame Edna, was not the only Australian comedian amongst the recipients, with comedy duo Judith Lucy and Denise Scott both being granted the honour of Member of the Order of Australia.

Prior to his passing in late April 2023, Humphries had been previously honoured as an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1982, with the comedian also receiving the honour of Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2007.

The Dame and King Charles are reported to have remained close friends up until Humphries’ passing.

(Image: Getty)

The King’s Birthday Honours list is also representative of another notable milestone, with the 2023 cohort of recipients being represented by over 50% women for the first time since the Order of Australia was established in 1975.

“Reaching gender parity in the Order is a major milestone. While we should take a moment to acknowledge the significance of this achievement, it is not cause for pause,” said Governor-General David Hurley.

Humphries was also well known for his role as satirical politician Sir Les Patterson.

(Image: Getty)

The news of Humphries’ honour comes just over two weeks since Prime Minister Anthony Albanese confirmed the details for Humphries’ State Memorial, which will be occurring on December 15, 2023 at the Sydney Opera House.

“Barry Humphries was a much-loved Australian and a huge loss to the arts community,” Mr Albanese said previously, adding “The Australian Government is pleased to work with the New South Wales Government to deliver a State Memorial to honour the life and legacy of this beloved entertainer.”

“The Sydney Opera House is a fitting location for what promises to be a memorable send-off, given the venue’s significance in Australian arts, culture, and entertainment,” stated New South Wales Premier Chris Minns.

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