His city is home to tens of thousands of Australians and now
London mayor Boris Johnson has been declared an honorary
Johnson was on Saturday named Honorary Australian of the Year
in the UK at an Australia Day awards ceremony in the British
Writer, lecturer and historian Meredith Hooper received the
Australian of the Year in the UK award for her passion and
dedication in studying and educating about Antarctica.
Johnson was recognised for displaying "archetypal Aussie
characteristics in abundance" and for looking out for the
interests of Australians in the UK.
He has spoken frequently of his admiration for Australia,
declaring it "the most advanced country on earth" on a recent
visit, and said he wants Australians to have EU-style work
rights in UK.
Johnson said he was honoured and surprised by the award.
"Our connection to Australia is reflective of a mutual bond
of language, shared history and respect that even extends to
our 'chin-up, carry on' attitude to Ashes defeat," Johnson
"London is a global capital, with a rich and diverse world
"Australians are an integral and essential part of that
community, and so long as I am mayor it is a bond I know will
grow and flourish still further."
Award-winning author Hooper has spent more than five decades
pursuing her passion for Antarctica, making many journeys
there, and she is considered a world expert on the region.
In between research projects and lectures, she also acts as a
creative consultant to her son Tom, the Oscar-winning
director of films including The King's Speech and Les
Of her honour, Meredith Hooper said: "We Australians in the
UK inhabit two hemispheres.
"It's our good fortune and our opportunity. We can gain, and
we can give.
"This honour is a most happy acknowledging of my two selves."
Ballet dancer Steven McRae, 28, was named Young Australian
Achiever in the UK at the awards, run by the Australia Day