Tennis legend Evonne Goolagong-Cawley has received top honours in the Australia Day honours list.
Mrs Goolagong-Cawley, a world number one tennis player in the 1970s, has been awarded the Companion of the Order of Australia for “eminent service to tennis” as a player, ambassador and supporter.
The award also recognises her contribution as an “advocate for the health, education and wellbeing of young Indigenous people through participation in sport, and as a rolemodel”.
Mrs Goolagong-Cawley, who lives in Queensland, could not be reached for comment by the National Indigenous Times.
The Companion of the Order of Australia is awarded for “achievement and merit of the highest degree in service to Australia or humanity at large”.
Mrs Goolagong-Cawley, now a mother and grandmother, runs the Evonne Goolagong Foundation, which uses tennis to help better the lives of Indigenous children.
At the height of her career on the court, she was ranked the number one player in the world in 1971 and 1976.
She won 92 pro tournaments, was a finalist in 18 Grand Slam events and won Wimbledon twice, the Australian Open four times, the French Open once and was a runner-up four years in a row at the US Open.
The Australia Day Honours List this year recognises 895 Australians across a diverse range of professions and industries.
This year 641 people received Order of Australia appointments and awards. Another 254 were recognised through merit and military awards.
The awards are recommended to the Governor-General by a council made up of 19 members from all states and territories.
Others to be recognised for service to Indigenous communities and awarded a Member of the Order include Catherine Baxter (NSW), Associate Professor Robert Breen (NSW), Vicki Clark (Victoria), Michael Green (NSW), Charles Jackson (SA), Alastair King (NT), Rachelle Towart (NSW).