Dr Harry Cooper, Wilkins, Munro honoured


Vet Dr Harry Cooper, news reader Mike Munro and showbiz ace Richard Wilkins are among seven entertainment professionals who received Queen’s Birthday honours.


The other four were the late radio announcer Keith McGowan, film and TV director and producer Sandra Levy, radio presenter Angela Catterns and Canberra-based ABC sports reporter Tim Gavel.

Cooper and Wilkins both received Member of the Order of Australia (AM) honours.

Cooper says he feels more like an ambassador for veterinary science than he does a TV identity. It’s his third award in less than a decade for his services to veterinary science.

“I’ve been honoured by the profession, I was honoured by the university last year, because of my achievements, and now I have been honoured by my country,” Cooper told AAP.

While many know Wilkins because of his entertainment reports on the Nine Network’s breakfast show Today, it’s his charity work for which he has been largely recognised.

Wilkins was 18 when the first of his five children, Adam, was born with Down Syndrome.

Since then he has tried to help out as many charities as possible and use his profile in Australia for the cause of raising money for the less privileged.

“Because of Adam I see more reason to say yes whenever I can to helping than saying no,” Wilkins told AAP.

Munro received an AM for his services to television but also for his charitable work that includes being a board director for Alcoholics Anonymous for 10 years.

Levy received an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for her work in the TV and film industry which dates back to 1971 when she was a director and producer of drama at the ABC.

Her other roles include CEO of the Australian Film, Television and Radio School, executive director for development for the Nine Network and acting chair, deputy chair and board member for the Sydney Theatre Company (2001-2011).

McGowan, who died in December, received an OAM for his 54 years in radio at 17 stations across four states.

Like McGowan, Catterns (AM) has had an extensive career in radio, and among the stations she has worked at are Triple J, ABC Local Radio and 702 ABC Sydney.

Gavel (OAM) has worked with the ABC since 1988 and is a patron for the Early Morning Centre, which provides meals and services for the homeless and disadvantaged in Canberra.

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