• Parliament House in Canberra. (Steve Hitchen)
    Parliament House in Canberra. (Steve Hitchen)

Two aviators are among 570 Australians honoured in the 2021 Australia Day Honours List published today.

Pilot and aviation law expert Professor Ron Bartsch of Victoria was awarded an Order of Australia (AO) and former RAAF pilot, air accident investigator and flying instructor Queensland's Sam Todhunter was awarded an Order of Australia Medal (OAM).

Bartsch was honoured for significant service to aviation law, safety and compliance. Bartsch is considered one of the world leading experts on aviation law and aviation safety. As Managing Director of Avlaw Aviation Consulting and Chairman of Avlaw Aviation Consulting International he works with almost 100 specialist aviation consultants and lawyers located across the Asia Pacific region. In the past he has been Head of Safety and Regulatory Compliance at Qantas and Manager of Air Transport Operations with CASA. His flying career was spent as Chief Pilot and Chief Flying Instructor, massing over 7000 hours in aircraft ranging from Cessnas though to the Boeing 717-200. He has authored several books including Aviation Law in Australia and International Aviation Law. He is also a Senior Lecturer and Senior Visiting Fellow at UNSW.

Sam Todhunter began his aviation journey with the Royal Australian Air Force in 1954, a career that led him to combat operations in Vietnam, flying 2SQN Canberras. It was as Operations Officer at 2SQN that Todhunter was awarded a Mentioned in Dispatches (MID) for bravery and skill during missions under fire. After leaving the RAAF, Todhunter joined the civil aviation stream as Superintendant Accident Investigation and Assistant Director of Flying Operations with the CAA in PNG and WA Safety Promotion Liaison Officer with the Bureau of Aviation Safety Investigation (BASI). Todhunter has had a long career in flying instruction as CFI at AvWest and Pearce Aero Club, and since 1997 with Northern Rivers Aero Club in Lismore, NSW.

"On behalf of all Australians, I congratulate everyone recognised in the Australia Day Honours List," Governor-General David Hurley said on announcing the list today.

"The individuals we celebrate today come from all parts of our great nation and have served the community in almost every way conceivable. They're diverse and unique but there are some common characteristics including selflessness, commitment and dedication."

The full list of all honours is on the Governor-General's website.

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