Newcastle broadcasters Aaron Kearney and the late Jill Emberson have been inducted to the Order of Australia.
In addition to her contribution to broadcasting, Ms Emberson was also recognised for her fierce advocacy for ovarian cancer research and treatment.
Ms Emberson was diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer in February 2016. She passed away from the disease in December 2019.
"Hearing that Jill and I were honoured on the same list really moved me and makes this even more special if that's possible," Mr Kearney said.
"We worked side by side as broadcasters, shared so many journalistic values and a passion for our community and that became the foundation of our friendship away from work.
"Her husband Ken (Lambert) regularly comes around for a red wine and conversation, and we know what we will be toasting next time."
Dr Lambert said the award was 'bitter-sweet'.
"I actually shed a tear when I found out," he said.
"Her award is primarily for her ovarian cancer advocacy but there are a whole range of things that she did in her life that she could have been nominated for."
Emberson's award-winning podcast Still Jill shared experiences of her cancer journey.
The director of Ovarian Cancer Australia Josy Shaw told the ABC Ms Emberson had been "quite possibly the greatest impact we've ever seen at Ovarian Cancer Australia".
"The effect she's had on the sector financially has never been seen before," she said.
Dr Lambert said the award not only recognised Jill's achievements but also her passion for life, particularly in her final years.
"Her spirit continued to shine brightly even though she was in pain and knowing that she had a terminal disease," Dr Lambert said.
"She had so much she still wanted to do."
Mr Kearney said he was "genuinely delighted" to be recognised for his work.
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"I am humbled and it is lovely, but on a more meaningful level, there is no doubt that people who pursue a life in regional Australia forego a certain number of opportunities to do that," the former Maitland Mercury journmalist said.
"To have an honour like this recognise local journalism and international journalism in developing environments - that's an enormous boost for me but hopefully, it also sends a signal to everybody who is doing it that their work is not going unnoticed.
"I find it quite moving that that has been recognised as having value."
He said it took just 36 hours for more than a year's worth of international engagements - one of the most notable of which involved producing an all-women indigenous language broadcasting of the World Cup to the Indo-Pacific region in 2019 - to almost entirely evaporate as COVID-19 took hold around the world. But around the same amount of time, Kearney had begun work on his latest venture.
"2019 was the most remarkable year," Kearney said, "But it's fair to say 2020 has been quite an act to follow. The bar was high, but 2020 has got comfortably over it.
Before the borders closed and the world slowed to a pace not seen before in living memory, Kearney - the Newcastle radio broadcaster and journalist who described his career as having "either a 30-step commute or a 30-hour commute" - was ready to board the plane again.
He was booked for work in Uzbekistan, and for a return trip to Vanuatu where his 'Commentary for Good' indigenous language program was ostensibly based.
"Essentially my whole business model evaporated overnight," he said.
"Mercifully a couple of clients I was working for required more work domestically and I'm not predominantly a podcast host and producer."
The Shed Wireless, which has featured guests including the Governor-General David Hurley, was a direct response to the isolation imposed by the pandemic.
"The Men's Shed brief is to essentially fight social isolation, and then social isolation became compulsory," Kearney said. "So, we created the wireless you would listen to if you were in the shed."