26 Jan 2014

London mayor 'archetypal Aussie'

9:00 am on 26 January 2014

London mayor Boris Johnson has been named an honorary Australian as part of Australia Day celebrations in the UK.

Mr Johnson was on Saturday named Honorary Australian of the Year in the UK at an Australia Day awards ceremony in the British capital, home to tens of thousands of Australians.

Boris Johnson.

Boris Johnson. Photo: AFP

He was recognised for displaying "archetypal Aussie characteristics in abundance" and for looking out for the interests of Australians in the UK.

The mayor 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.

Mr 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," he said.

"London is a global capital, with a rich and diverse world community. 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."

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.

Ballet dancer Steven McRae, 28, was named Young Australian Achiever in the UK at the awards, run by the Australia Day Foundation.