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Ballarat's Kate Torney & Dianne McGrath add OAM to their names

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Two women with strong links to Ballarat are among the 549 recipients of the Medal of the Order of Australia today (26 Januaray 2020).

Kate Torney (above) was educated and began her broadcasting career in Ballarat, while Dianne McGrath (below) has been a long-time member of the Ryder-Cheshire Australia charity with a passion for international relations. 

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Ms Torney graduated from Loreto College and began her journalism career at what was then Vic TV Ballarat in the early 1990s, covering mainly issues in the Wimmera.

She later worked for the Today Show on Channel 9, before heading to the ABC where she became Director of News (2009-2015).

Ms Torney is currently the Chief Executive of the State Library of Victoria.

She has also been a member of National and State Libraries Australia, the Victorian Ministerial Council for Volunteers, Circus Oz and the group Chief Executive Women...  among many others.

Ms Torney has been nominated for service to the broadcast media and to the cultural sector.


Dianne McGrath has been nominated for her service to international humanitarian programs and the community of Ballarat.

She is the current Director of Ryder-Cheshire Australia and has been a member of the charity since 2001.

Ms McGrath has also been an Education/Arts lecturer at Federation University and ACU.

She co-created the book 'Grandfather Crocodile' for chldren in Timor-Leste. It was later sent to primary schools across Australia.

Another prominent project has been the Gum Loong Friendship Garden in the Ballarat New Cemetery.

Ms McGrath has served on several City of Ballarat and volunteer groups - many with an international and/or education focus. 

Images: Loreto College and Ryder-Cheshire Australia