A Melbourne-based academic once likened to Hitler's deputy and described as "the most dangerous man on earth" is one of eight Australians to be awarded the top Queen's Birthday accolade.
As a philosopher and bioethicist, Professor Peter Singer, 66, is no stranger to controversy.
Today, he has been recognised for his varied contributions with a Companion in the Order of Australia (AC) for his communication of ideas regarding animal welfare, global poverty and the human condition.
- former Victorian premier Joan Kirner
- former Queensland premier Peter Beattie
- former foreign affairs minister Gareth Evans
- medical researcher Ian Frazer
- former federal frontbencher Robert Hill
- biologist Stephen Hopper
- Western Australian Chief Justice Wayne Martin
In 1975, Professor Singer made headlines around the world with his book Animal Liberation, focusing on the animal rights movement. He has also spoken about abortion, euthanasia and the human condition - becoming the subject of heated debates and even death threats.
Disability activist Diane Coleman once described him as a "public advocate of genocide" and "the most dangerous man on earth today".
In 1989, while on a trip to Germany for a conference, he was compared to a member of the Third Reich for his views on disabled children and infanticide.
But he has also been referred to as the most influential philosopher alive today.
In 2006, in an interview on ABC TV, he explained his views on the exploitation of animals and the quest to live true to his own ethics.
I'm certainly not pure. You say I don't eat any animal products, but if I'm travelling, I'm not going to turn back something that might have a bit of dairy product or something like that in it.
I think life gets too difficult if you try to be absolutely pure about these things.
So, basically, my view is I don't want to support the exploitation of animals, and within reason, I will do what I can to avoid it, but it's not like it's a religion for me.
It's always a matter, I think, of finding a balance between trying to do what you think is right and is going to have the best effect, and not living your life in such a way that you can't actually get on with the important things in life.Peter Singer
Professor Singer says he is delighted to be recognised on the Queen's Birthday honours list and embraces the controversy his views generate.
He says it has been the philosopher's role since Socrates to force people to challenge their own assumptions that they have taken for granted.
"There will be people in the community who are opposed to [my ideas], but I think that what this shows is that you don't just have to be a conformist in order to get honoured," he said.
"You can dissent, and we respect that, we recognise diversity of opinion and even honour it."
Professor Singer is currently writing a book about the foundations of ethics, and the problems associated with trying to reason with ethics at all.
But he says today he is most interested in the issues of human suffering, as well as climate change, despite "nobody doing enough about it".
"That's a huge moral issue that I plan to go back to," he said.
"And I want to look at questions about how can we essentially reduce suffering in the world. It seems to me to be one of the key questions - how can we reduce suffering and make both people and animals better off?"
He says he will be celebrating the honour with his wife and family in Melbourne.
- Dr Thomas Calma: service to the Indigenous community in human rights and social justice (AO).
- Peter Carey: service to literature as a novelist, through international promotion of the Australian identity (AO).
- Rolf Harris: service to the performing and visual arts, charitable organisations and promotion of Australian culture (AO).
- Mark Vaile: service to the Parliament of Australia, support for rural and regional communities (AO).
- Bruce Ackerman: service to the Marysville community during and after the deadly 2009 bushfires (AM).
- Craig Lowndes: services to motor racing and road safety (OAM).