Liberal luminary Tony Abbott, Sydney University chancellor Belinda Hutchinson and philanthropist Naomi Milgrom are receiving the nation's top honours this Queen's Birthday.
The former prime minister is among a raft of politicians and officials being recognised.
Mr Abbott, who has been appointed a companion in the Order of Australia, said the award didn't mark the end of his public service.
The honours recognise 933 Australians, with 710 receiving awards in the general division of the Order of Australia, 28 in the military division and 128 meritorious awards.
There are 290 women on the general awards list (40.85 per cent) with the youngest recipient aged 24 and 36 recipients aged over 90 when they were nominated.
Governor-General David Hurley said the list recognised outstanding Australians for their contributions both at home and globally.
"In this list we see all the positives that are in our community - we see the great ideas, we see the hard work, we see the love and compassion for fellow human beings - it's a microcosm of Australia," he said.
"Their efforts have been noted by their peers, they've been nominated and assessed independently as worthy of recognition."
Mr Abbott's political mentor Bronwyn Bishop and 43-year parliamentary veteran Liberal Philip Ruddock have been appointed officers of the Order of Australia.
So too have former Liberal premiers Mike Baird and Denis Napthine.
Cricket captains Lyn Larsen and Michael Clarke have also been appointed AOs.
Larsen said her latest recognition came as a surprise almost as large as the recent growth in her beloved sport.
At a time when indigenous rights are again at the forefront of debate, academic and leader Marcia Langton is being recognised for her three decades of fighting for them.
Journalists Mike Carlton and Sean Dorney also receive honours, as do businessman Ryan Stokes, actress Robyn Nevin, music producer Mark Opitz and hairdressing pioneer Stefan Ackerie.
Mango industry pioneer Ken Rayner is among 457 people receiving the Order of Australia Medal.
It means a lot to the octogenarian who has a framed portrait of Queen Elizabeth II in his dusty corrugated iron shed.
Mr Hurley said there had been recent success in his drive to achieve parity between nominations for men and women and increase the diversity of nominees.
"But that success has to be sustainable and that is one thing that I want to work on in my time," he said.
"The system is driven by nominations. To me that's the most critical thing - it's bottom-up and it is driven by recommendations from peers. The system belongs to all Australians."
Australian Associated Press