Radio stars and adland identities join Seven West’s Chris Wharton in Queens Birthday honours

Chris Wharton, CEO of Seven West Media in Western Australia has joined a list of Australian media, marketing and advertising identities honoured in the Queens Birthday Honours.

Chris Wharton- Mumbrella Perth 2015The list includes the female sports journalism pioneer Debbie Spillane, radio host Amanda Keller and former managing director of M&C Saatchi, Naseema Sparks.

Wharton was honoured for his “significant service to the print and television media in Western Australia as a senior executive, and to the community.”

Seven West Media chairman and non-executive director Kerry Stokes praised Wharton’s contribution to the business and the wider community.

“Chris has a passion for Western Australia and through his long-standing leadership at Channel Seven Perth and The West Australian, he is committed to ensuring that both Seven and The West reflect the lives of all West Australians and beyond that actively contribute to the community through support, engagement and of course, Telethon,” Stokes said in a statement.

The WA executive arrived at the publisher and broadcaster owned by Kerry Stokes 21 years ago, having begun his career with the now defunct Fairfax afternoon newspaper The Sun.

PaulMurray_AmandaKellerKeller, part of ARN’s WSFM’s breakfast team of Jonesy and Amanda, received the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for her services to the broadcast industry and the community.

ARN CEO Tony Kendall said that Keller’s honour was a reflection of a long and diverse career.

“Amanda is a genuine media professional with a generous heart and great strength of character and this is a wonderful acknowledgement of her contribution to the media industry and the community,” Kendal said.

“Amanda is admired and respected by all her colleagues at ARN and her longevity in the industry is testament to her talent but also the passion and commitment she brings to the station every day. On behalf of everyone at ARN, we congratulate Amanda on this honour.”

SpillaneBroadcaster, former print journalist and one of the original members of the iconic children’s show Simon Townsend’s Wonderworld, Debbie Spillane was also awarded an AM in the General Division for her significant service to media as a sports commentator and journalist, and as a role model for women in broadcasting.

Spillane moved from broadcast to print, and cemented a career as respected sports journalist, breaking through barriers to women covering sport in the 1980s and 1990s when women struggled to be accepted in an overwhelmingly male dominated part of the industry.

Spillane was the first full-time feamle sports broadcaster hired by the ABC in 1984 and used the oppportunity speaking about the award on ABC 702 in Sydney to announce her retirement.

Naseema SparksNaseema Sparks, former managing director and partner with M&C Saatchi in Australia, was honoured for significant service to business and commerce, and to women through advancing female participation and retention in the workforce,

Sparks, who now holds a number of directorships on companies including PMP, Camp Quality, Ingogo, and is a council member on the Australian Institute of Company Directors, told Mumbrella it was an honour to be award an AM.

“I’m honoured and excited,” Sparks said.



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