Reserve Bank Governor and Sylvania Waters resident Glenn Stevens among those to receive highest award in Queen's Birthday Honours

Order of Australia: Reserve Bank Governor Glenn Stevens. Picture: Peter Braig
Order of Australia: Reserve Bank Governor Glenn Stevens. Picture: Peter Braig

Glenn Stevens, who retires in September after a decade as Governor of the Reserve Bank, says he is “humbled” by being among recipients of the highest award in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Mr Stevens, a long-time Sylvania Waters resident, was among those who received a Companion (AC) in the General Division of the Order of Australia.

He is one of 13 people to be awarded an AC this year for “achievement and merit of the highest degree in eminent service­ to Australia or to humanity­ at large”.

“I have been very honoured to have been able to serve the country in this role for 10 years,” Mr Stevens said in a statement,

“‘I feel humbled by this recognition.

“Really the recognition is for the institution as much as for the individual.”

The award recognised Mr Stevens’ “eminent service to the financial and central bank sectors through leadership roles, to the implementation of innovative monetary and economic policy, to international financial regulation, and to the community”.

Mr Stevens, 58,  studied at the University of Sydney and the University of Western Ontario, Canada, before joining the Reserve Bank’s research department  in 1980 and working his way up.

He held various senior positions in the 1990s and, in December 2001, was appointed Deputy Governor and a member of the Reserve Bank Board.

He became Governor on September 18, 2006.

Mr Stevens has fulfilled many other roles in the financial and economic sphere in Australia and on the international stage.

As Reserve Bank Governor, Mr Stevens played a key role in keeping the Australian economy on an even keel over a period which saw both boom and the global financial crisis.

Mr Stevens’ community service includes chair of the Financial Markets Foundation for Children, founding board member of the Anika Foundation and a volunteer pilot for Angel Flight.

A keen aviator, he has his own twin engine aircraft.

Mr Stevens has lived in Sylvania Waters for 23 years, but not on the waterfront.

In 2007, he told a House of Representatives hearing, "My house is not a fibro house, but it is a piece of spec rubbish built in the 1970s, and in many respects it shows that”.

Away from the public spotlight, Mr Stevens is a very private person, but it is no secret he has a deep Christian faith and plays guitar at his local church.

Mt Stevens opened up about his private life In an interview with David Koch on the Seven Network’s Sunrise program in 2010.

“I was brought up in a Christian home, my parents were strong Christians and still are from my earliest memories we attended church regularly, and I came to a position of faith myself,” he said.

He didn’t believe the global financial crisis was a judgment of God, but rather the result of human “greed and fear”.

Mr Stevens revealed he enjoyed action movies such as the Bond films, likes jazz and admitted maths wasn't his strongest subject at school.

“There's nothing particularly remarkable about me at all, and when I'm not in the job anymore I’ll be disappearing, that’s for sure,” he said.

Fairfax Media reported this month, in a recent question and answer session, Mr Stevens was asked about the best advice he could offer his incoming successor, Deputy Governor Philip Lowe.

"I think my main advice would be to grow a thick skin," he said.


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