The late Nick Enright and singer Judi Connelli were appointed Members of the Order of Australia (AM) this week for services to entertainment.

The appointment was Enright’s second plaudit this year. Enright, who died in April 2003, was also nominated this year for a Tony Award for penning the original book of the musical The Boy From Oz.

Judi Connelli told Sydney Star Observer she was humbled and extremely thrilled by her appointment.
It came out of nowhere. I think you re-evaluate your life and go, what have I done to deserve this? she said.

Connelli was recognised for her work in musical theatre and cabaret and as a recording artist, with roles in Sweeney Todd and The Mikado and a recent concert performance of Sunset Boulevard.

The lesbian performer was also recognised for her participation in events to raise money for AIDS research and the Royal Children’s Hospital, among others.

You read what other people do and it’s an everyday occurrence in their lives -¦ I’m not like that, Connelli said. But I certainly don’t say no to requests and I’m always very happy to do these charitable things -¦ They’re always so enjoyable as well.

Enright was appointed an AM for services to the performing arts as a playwright, teacher, actor and director. Enright wrote the plays Blackrock, Good Works and Cloudstreet (with Justin Monjo) and was nominated for an Academy Award for co-writing the screenplay for Lorenzo’s Oil.

Actor Hugh Jackman thanked Enright this month while accepting the best actor award for playing the lead role in Enright’s musical The Boy From Oz. I know you are probably up there with Peter Allen having a beer -¦ or a pi?olada, Jackman said.

Sister Margaret Mary Olsen of South Australia was also awarded the medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for services to people living with HIV/AIDS via the Adelaide Diocesan AIDS Council.

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