Phil Aiken AM, Guy Griffiths CBE, Freddie Fox LVO, HE Mike Rann, Rebecca Richards, Bill Muirhead AM


Australia’s Milliner to HM The Queen for 34 Years is named Australian of the Year
Frederick Fox, LVO

Frederick Fox, LVO was named 2013 Australian of the Year in the UK and when presenting the award, Australian Day Foundation Director Bill Muirhead commented ‘When Hardy Aimes first saw Frederick Fox’s innovative designs he immediately recognised the brilliance of a true master craftsman.  To have been milliner to Her Majesty The Queen for 34 years will be a record no other milliner will match.  In recognition of his outstanding achievements and distinguished career the Australia Day Foundation considers Frederick Fox a most worthy recipient of the 2013 ‘Australian of the Year’ award.

Frederick Fox is considered one of Britain’s greatest and most distinguished milliners. He was born in 1931 in outback Australia New South Wales and was one of nine children. 

Fox discovered his natural flair for making hats in his early teens.  He remade one of his mother’s hats for his sister to wear to church - it was the talk of the congregation and it was the beginning of his millinery career.  Fox bought a bike with a basket; on Saturdays he collected hats from a growing client base, cutting them up and reconstructing them, swopping accessories from one hat to another – his delighted clients were unaware that their newly purchased hats were recycled.   

Aged 17 and determined to pursue his chosen career Fox left Jerilderie for Sydney to train with top French milliner Henriette La Motte. At 27, Fox arrived in London securing a job with Otto Lucas. He was in charge of a table of 40 women – all of whom were old enough to be his mother.  Fox maintains ‘it was a very tough learning curve but the experience invaluable’.

He then moved to Langee, in Brook Street which he subsequently took over in 1964.  Fox had quickly established himself as a brilliant designer. Such was his success that he moved the atelier to premises in Bond Street. 

In 1968 Hardy Amies asked him to create hats for the Queen’s tour of Chile & Argentina.  For over 34 years he crafted more than 350 of the Queen’s hats.  When recently asked about being the Milliner to The Queen, Fox responded..…..I  managed to survive 3 tailors, 4 dressmakers, 3 vendeuses and 2 designers and was able to give continuity to millinery for 34 years of our monarch’s remarkable reign. All thanks to Hardy Amies who believed that I was the right man for the job and gave me the opportunity to work for the most photographed woman in the world”

Frederick Fox received his royal warrant in 1974 as Milliner to HM The Queen. 

Fox also designed hats for Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, Princess Anne, Diana the Princess of Wales, Princess Alice, The Duchess of Kent, the Duchess of Gloucester, and Princess Michael of Kent whilst continuing to design for a large international clientele including Hilary Clinton, Joan Collins and Barbara Cartland.

Fox collaborated with film director Stanley Kubrick, designing the iconic white leather crash helmets and suits for the film 2001, A Space Odyssey. Other film credits include ‘The Great Muppet Caper’ and Agatha Christie’s ‘Evil Under the Sun’.  He collaborated with many leading fashion designers and his hats have consistently featured in major fashion magazines.

For his 1999 collection Fox could not have known that he had designed what today has become known as the ‘Fascinator’. 

Frederick Fox was awarded an LVO on the Queen’s birthday honour's list in 1999.

Both Frederick Fox’s vintage and contemporary designs are considered heirloom pieces.  The V & A collection includes the prototype for the hat worn by the Queen for her Silver Jubilee in 1977, and a number of his hats are in the Kensington Palace Royal Wardrobe Archives.

Although officially retired in 2002 he is regularly asked to design hats for friends and Fox was in great demand during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations last year, appearing on television, radio, and in the press.

He was a guest speaker at the Royal Academy of Arts salon to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee to explore how the Queen’s fashion choices sustained her public image and status.  The Jubilee stamp collection included four of the hats commissioned for/by The Queen. 

The Fashion & Textile Museum ‘Couture by Royal Appointment’ exhibition has been running since November and explores how the Queen’s patronage of ground-breaking designers – Hartnell, Hardy Amies and Frederick Fox -  helped put London on the international fashion map after the Second World War.

Fox returns to Australia regularly and for over 20 years participated in the judging of the Fashion Field at the Melbourne Cup.  He is a Patron of the Australian Millinery Association. 

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Guy Griffiths
Guy Griffiths, CBE

‘Guy Griffiths is an outstanding businessman and a genuine leader of the global defence sector. Australia in particular has benefited from Guy’s involvement in some of its most complex and largest defence industry projects. Guy is genuinely a worthy recipient of the 2013 Honorary Australian of the Year in the UK award” said Bill Muirhead, Director of the Australia Day Foundation.  

Guy Griffiths was born in 1957, educated in Wales and graduated from University College Cardiff in 1978 with a Degree in Economics. On leaving University joined British Aerospace. After two years of training, Guy was assigned to the Space Division of the Company where they designed and manufactured communication and scientific satellites – his role was to draft and negotiate the contracts by which these satellites were sold.  After 12 years in the Space business, Guy became IT Director for BAE Systems.

Guy began travelling to Australia when he became Chief Operating Office of MBDA, a joint venture missile company, which BAE Systems formed with a number of European partners. He was responsible for 10,000 employees and the supply of precision weaponry to the Australian military. During this time Guy was responsible for the Royal Australian Air Force taking delivery of its first ASRAAM Missile and, in connection with this order, received the Queen’s Award for Export.

Guy Griffiths was honoured with a CBE in 2008 for his services to the defence industry.

As Group Managing Director – International for BAE Systems, Guy has led the effort to build up BAE Systems’ operations in Australia, and the company is now the largest Australian defence company with 5,900 Australians employed in urban, regional and remote locations across the country.

Australia’s Hawk Lead In Fighter, fleet of F18 fighter aircraft, fleets of Blackhawk, Seahawk and Chinook helicopters are maintained by the Australian company.

A major upgrade of the of the Australian Army’s M113 armoured vehicle fleet  is nearing completion and the Department of Defence’s Inventory and Distribution centres are operated by BAE Systems Australia.  In the Naval domain, the Company maintains and provides upgrades for the Royal Australian Navy’s ANZAC fleet  and is the Prime Contractor for the build and integration of two new Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) ships  at 27,800 tonnes each, the LHD’s will be the largest ships ever operated by the Navy.    In 2012 Victoria’s Williamstown Shipyard took delivery of the hull of the first LHD vessel (HMAS Canberra) and systems integration a testing activity continues at pace during 2013.


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Rebecca Richards
Rebecca Richards

Rebecca Richards was named  2013 Young Australian Achiever of the Year in the UK.  When presenting the award, Philip Aiken, Chairman of the Australia Day Foundation said in a recent interview for an Australian Broadcasting Corporation television programme Rebecca said ...”my advice to future generations is to find something that you’re passionate about and pursue it with everything that you have.  Just do what you love and know that there is a place for you.  And it doesn’t have to be typical of your background.  You could do amazing things”.  Philip Aiken said that Rebecca is doing amazing things and the Australia Day Foundation considered her a worthy recipient of the ‘Young Australian Achiever of the Year’ award.

Rebecca Richards’s mother was the principal of the local primary school and her father was a stockman from the Flinders Ranges who taught her about her Aboriginal heritage. Rebecca was schooled between the Winkie Primary School in the Riverland and the Adnyamathanha primary school in Nepabunna Mission.

When Rebecca was 14, Dr Philip Jones, Head of Anthropology at the Australian Museum asked her father to assist in an exploration of her native Adnyamathanha lands.  She joined them on the expedition and it was a key experience in shaping her interest in anthropology.  

While undertaking her degree in Anthropology at the University of Adelaide, Rebecca was able to take up a cadetship at the National Museum of Australia working with Dr Margo Neale and also an internship to study Australian collections that were housed in the prestigious Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC. Rebecca graduated with first class honours and went on to be the first Aboriginal scholar to be awarded a Rhodes Scholarship. She is currently pursuing further studies in Anthropology at Oxford.

Rebecca is passionate about Indigenous health, human rights and education issues and is committed to preserving and promoting Aboriginal culture.  She has custodial responsibilities for women’s sites in the Flinders Ranges and her family site, Pakatu. 

She volunteered as a mentor at a teen challenge drug rehabilitation bush survival camp; was National Indigenous Youth Mobility Program spokesperson; mentor in the University of Adelaide Indigenous head-start program for rural students; youth ambassador for the National Centre for Indigenous Excellence and attended the United National Forum on Indigenous Issues and named Young Australian of the Year for South Australia in 2012.

After completing her Masters in Material Anthropology and Museum Ethnography at Oxford, Rebecca hopes to help Aboriginal communities link up with and access objects from the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford.

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