Photographers receive OAMs in Australia day honours

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Photographers Gavin Blue and Alex Cearns have been recognised in the prestigious Order of Australia honours list for 2019, with both receiving Order of Australia Medals (OAMs) for their charitable work.

Victoria's Gavin Blue was recognised with an OAM for service to the community. The citation references his role as President of Heartfelt, an international photographer collective giving the gift of photographic memories to families that have experienced stillbirths, premature, and ill infants and children in the Neonatal Intensive Care Units of their local hospitals, as well as children with serious and terminal illnesses.

Blue is a former President of the Australian Commecial and Media Photographers (ACMP) and previous recipient of the Claude McCarthy Award from the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP).

WA-based pet photographer Alex Cearns was recognised with an OAM for service to the community through charitable organisations. Her citation recognised her extensive work with many charitable organisations, including the Dogs Refuge Home of Western Australia, Greener Pastures Animal Sanctuary, Kanyana Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, Wildcare WA, Brightside Farm Sanctuary Tasmania, Animal Management in Rural and Remote Indigenous Communities, WA Dingo Association, and Free the Bears Fund International.

Cearns is a previous winner of the AIPP Pet/Animal Professional Photographer of the Year, and an Ambassador for Guide Dogs WA, as well as Director of Houndstooth Studio

More than 1,400 Australians were recognised in the prestigious awards, with the title of 2019 Australian of the Year being shared by cave rescue divers Richard 'Harry' Harris and Craig Challen, for their heroic efforts in saving 12 boys from a flooded cave in Thailand.

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