Connie Johnson has been awarded an Order of Australia on her death bed, honouring her work for breast cancer awareness.
Her brother, actor Samuel Johnson, posted an update on the Facebook page Love Your Sister, the charity the brother-sister duo set up to fight cancer.
“The Governor General ‘popped in’ on Connie today. Can you see that shiny thing on her chest? It’s a Medal of The Order of Australia, awarded for her services to our community and humanity! Her eyes danced like when we were kids. She looked so alive.
“Afterwards, she looked at me sideways, coz she can’t move her head too well, and she kept saying, in her weak and raspy voice…’Can you believe it? Can you believe it? Look what we did. We did something!’”
In an emotional post, he told followers of the page that the award came “just in time”; Connie publicly announced she had ceased treatment at the beginning of this year, and has been in hospice since July.
“This was just in time,” Sam continued. “I wanted to tell you first before you hear about it through the media – her time is nigh. Let’s prepare, villagers. It’ll be very soon.
“Our thanks to our new mate Pete Cosgrove, for making us all laugh in amongst all the pomp. And kudos to our new Lady Cottonsocks, for being exactly who she is.
“This is an awful time, we won’t bullshit, but please believe that she feels SO cushioned by your love and has been finding so many rainbows. “
During the ceremony, Sir Peter Cosgrove described Connie as “a determined, inspirational figure and a great Australian.”
Secretary to the Governor-General, Mark Fraser, described her as “a person who is simply inspirational. Her creation and leadership of the Love Your Sister Village has done much to encourage other Australian women to undergo regular screening and has also raised vital funds to support cancer research.”
Love Your Sister has raised millions for breast cancer awareness and research. Connie’s final public event for the charity was The Big Heart Project, which saw thousands of people donate millions of 5-cent coins to form a record-breaking silver heart.