A few months ago I received a letter from the Secretary of the Order of Australia on behalf of the Governor-General to inform me that I was being considered for the award of the Member of the Order of Austrlaia in the General Division within the Australian Honours System. This would mean that I would be authorized to use AM after my name. I then received another letter to tell me that this was going to happen and that it would be announced on Australia Day January 26. but that I couldn’t tell anyone! This was a hard secret to keep, but not even my family in Canada was told!
On Sunday the 26th it was announced with all the other winners, some amazing people who have accomplished some incredible things for this country! I was included in the Sunday Herald Sun newspaper with some amazing people including Jacki Weaver, James Reyne, Geoffrey Rush, Stephanie Alexander and many more. To say it was overwhelming being put in the same category as these people is an understatement!
On the official website my citation said:
MEMBER (AM) IN THE GENRAL DIVISION OF THE ORDER OF AUSTRALIA
Mrs. Carol Lynn Cooke
For significant service to sport as a gold medallist at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, and through fundraising and representational roles with charitable healthcare organisations.
I am very proud and honoured to have received this Order of Australia. I cycle because I love doing it, I love racing and I have been very lucky to have been included in an amazing National Para Cycling team. I love the Mega Swim and I love the fact that we have been able to help people living with MS.
I wouldn’t be able to do all of this without the support of family and friends and all the MS staff and volunteers who make the Mega Swim the success it is! So this award is for all those people who have been involved Mega Swims throughout the last 14 years! Thank you for all your support and lets hope we keep it going for another 14 years!