IT WAS a special Australia Day for Highlander Michael Ball.
Mr Ball was included as an Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia (AO).
He was recognised for distinguished service to the community through leadership roles with major urban planning and heritage preservation organisations, and to the promotion of the history of cricket.
Mr Ball was one of nine Highlands residents to be acknowledged on the Australia Day Honours List.
For decades, Mr Ball has been an active member of the Highlands and broader Australian communities.
His list of achievements include being a former director of the National Trust of Australia (NSW).
The Sutton Forest resident helped conceive Australia’s Living National Treasures list to celebrate Australia’s culture.
Mr Ball has also been closely associated with the National Museum of Australia.
His work included being the brainchild of the Defining Moments in Australian History project.
Mr Ball was part of a committee that selected 100 crucial moments in the nation’s history for an exhibition.
Mr Ball moved to the Highlands in 1986 with his wife Daria and became an active member of the local community.
For several years, he advocated cricket through the roles of chairman and director of the Bradman Foundation.
He is now an honorary life member of the foundation.
Mr Ball was essential in the establishment of the International Cricket Hall of Fame at the Bradman Centre, Bowral.
This year is the second time that Mr Ball has been recognised on Australia Day.
In 2002, he became a member in the general division of the Order of Australia (AM).
Mr Ball said it was a “big surprise” to receive an AO medal.
“It’s a bit of a shock because it’s not something that you apply for, someone has to put you up for it,” he said.
“An AM is for national significance, but an AO is relatively rare.
“An AO is a record of achievements of international significance.”
Highlanders honoured in 2016 Australia Day Honours List: