The 84-year-old artist and musician was jailed in England for five years and nine months last July after being found guilty of 12 indecent assaults against four girls between 1968-86 – including an attack on an eight-year-old autograph hunter.
Now the veteran children’s entertainer has had his Officer and Member of the Order of Australia appointments removed by Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove.
A brief statement from the secretary of the Order of Australia read: “It is notified for general information that the governor general has terminated the appointments of Officer and Member of the Order of Australia in the general division, made to Mr Rolf Harris.”
Perth-born Harris – known for his catchphrase ‘Can you tell what it is yet?’ – first moved to England in 1952, and sprang to fame with hit songs such as Tie Me Kangaroo Down (1960), Jake the Peg (1965) and Two Little Boys (1969). His long-running children’s TV show Rolf’s Cartoon Time, which launched on BBC1 in 1979, was an ideal vehicle for his artistic talents. More recently he painted a portrait of the Queen to mark her 80th birthday in 2006.
Harris was arrested in 2013 in connection with the wide-ranging Operation Yewtree investigation set up by police in the wake of the Jimmy Savile abuse scandal. He denied the charges against him, but in December abandoned any attempt to overturn his conviction. He has recently been questioned again regarding sex offence allegations.
The entertainer has already been stripped of other honours. Within hours of his conviction Harris lost his place in the Australian Recording Industry Association hall of fame, and his British Academy of Film and Television Arts fellowship. Calls have also been made to strip Harris of the CBE that he was awarded in 2006 – a move which would have to be approved by the Queen.