Aussie entertainers get Queen's gongs

Aussie entertainers get Queen's gongs

Danielle McGrane | AAP | June 12 2017

Patti Newton started out in television when she was a teenager, and she has been working almost consistently in the public eye since then.

"In those early days, people didn't really know too much about television so we all learnt together. I was on the staff of Channel Nine when I was 15," Newton told AAP.

At the age of 72 she is being appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the Queen's Birthday Honours on Monday, for her work in TV and entertainment and for her support of several charities throughout her career including Scope, Variety Club and Stroke Foundation.

"I've been lucky, I've been able to help a lot of people," she said.

Newton is married to another beloved TV entertainer, Bert Newton, who was also previously included in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

"It's pretty special that husband and wife have both got an AM. Bert and I both got ours for the fact that we're in showbusiness and have worked in the business for a great length of time," she said.

Also being appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM), Australian film and TV director Donald Crombie has been instrumental in moving his profession forwards over his 40-year career.

He started out in the 1970s making movies such as The Irishman and Caddie and has been a member of industry bodies, including president of the Australian Directors' Guild.

"In the '70s the commonwealth used to put out a yearbook, a huge tome of all the activity in the commonwealth. In it, film directors were listed alongside glass blowers and lion tamers so when I started working in films as a film director I was directly asked by people, in response to telling them what I did 'yes, but what do you really do'," Crombie told AAP.

"So over the years I think I and my many director colleagues brought film directing into the mainstream as a viable and respected profession. You see, I'm no longer asked 'What do you really do?'"

Indigenous Australian actress Deborah Mailman is another entertainer being appointed a Member (AM) for her work as an actor and also for being a role model for indigenous performers.

Mailman got her break-out role playing Nona in 1998 film Radiance and has been working steadily since with roles in films such as The Secret Life Of Us, Rabbit-Proof Fence, The Sapphires and on popular TV series Cleverman and Offspring - a role for which she won an Australian Film Institute Award in 2010.

---- Main image: Patti Newton and Lauren Newton arrive at the 2016 Logie Awards at the Crown Casino in Melbourne, Sunday, May 8, 2016. (AAP Image/Joe Castro) ----

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