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BCA Press Release

9 January 2023



Dr Susan Michaelis, from West Sussex is to be recognised at the Palace of Westminster with the prestigious British Citizen Award (BCA) in recognition of her extraordinary endeavours. The British Citizen Award in partnership with One Stop, is now in its ninth year and recognises exceptional individuals who positively impact their communities throughout the country. Dubbed ‘The People’s Honours’ due to the fact that anyone with an OBE, CBE of KBE is ineligible to receive a BCA, this programme recognises true community heroes for their divergent endeavours and positive impact on society.

Susan is one of only 29 individuals to be recognised at the Palace of Westminster on 26th January 2023 and will be honoured with The British Citizen Award and will receive the coveted BCA Medal of Honour. Susan is invited to use the post-nominals BCAhon as a legacy of her achievements.

Aged 34, Susan’s dream career as an airline pilot came to a devastating end as she became very ill and deemed no longer medically fit to fly. For the last 25 years, she has dedicated her life to getting the problem of contaminated air on aircraft recognised and fixed. She has achieved some impressive milestones, committing to protect crews and the travelling public. 

To make a change and achieve her goals, she retrained by doing both a PhD in Occupational Safety in the Workplace and then an MSc. She has successfully motivated air crew unions globally (including in the UK) and the Royal Australian Air Force to help her address this occupational health and flight safety issue, with unions representing over 200,000 members. 

In 2006, she played a vital role in unions creating the Global Cabin Air Quality Executive to fix the problem. Susan was appointed Head of Research, a job she has mostly done unpaid. Today, Susan has Stage four breast cancer, a cancer her doctors are convinced came from her exposure to engine oils at work 25 years ago. Due in part to her extensive work, the industry is now taking more steps towards resolving this important health issue.

“This year’s medalists have reminded us of how many amazing people are supporting our communities, especially during such a challenging time. At One Stop we serve many communities across the country, and we know how important voluntary work is to support those in need. We're proud to be partnering with the BCA again and to play a small part in helping each medallist to be recognised. Our congratulations go to all honourees”, said Jack Taylor Head of Community Partnerships, One Stop.

The Medal presentation will be hosted by TV presenter and BCA Patron, Nick Knowles, and attended by another BCA Patron, Dame Mary Perkins, Founder of Specsavers, and The Rt Hon Lord Dholakia. The British Citizen Award (BCA) was established in 2015 to recognise exceptional individuals who work tirelessly and selflessly to make a positive impact on their communities and society. 

Each medalist has a day to remember befitting their achievements. At the Palace of Westminster medals will be presented by Senior Representatives from official partner One Stop, Places for People, Specsavers, and Big Bus London, who all support this unique programme. Medalists then board an Open Top Lap of Honour tour before attending a certificate presentation at the prestigious Church House. 

The British Citizen Award is widely viewed as the nation’s way of recognising extraordinary, everyday people for exceptional endeavor and are truly representative of today’s multicultural Britain. The Medal presentation is held twice annually, January and July, to nominate an outstanding individual from your community to be considered for The People’s Honours visit


Date of issue: 9th January 2023

For more information, please contact or call 0203 002 7764.

Notes to Editors

The British Citizen Award recognises individuals that positively impact others and highlights the positive 

aspects of multi-cultural communities, workplaces, community groups and charities throughout the UK. It is accessible to all and serves to celebrate the good things that make Britain great. 

There is no fee for making a nomination. Nominees who are granted a BCA will be invited to attend the 

Presentation Day at the Palace of Westminster. Presentations are held twice annually in January and July.

Whilst individuals decorated with an OBE, CBE or KBE are ineligible for a BCA, recipients of a BCA can still be nominated (and often are successful) for those awards. 

Susan is a permanent resident in the UK and the first Australian to receive this award.

Twitter: @CitizenAwards @susanmichaelis1




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