Defence Minister John Faulkner and Liberal backbencher Petro Georgiou have been chosen over all other federal parliamentarians to receive inaugural awards for integrity.

They were chosen from a field of 17 candidates by the group Accountability Round Table to recognise integrity in politicians at a time when voters are generally cynical of their elected leaders.

Mr Georgiou, set to retire at the next election, received the backbencher award, established in honour of famously independent-minded Liberal senator Alan Missen (1925-86) who voted against his own party 41 times.

Senator Faulkner received the Button award, presented in honour of longtime Labor senator and Minister John Button (1933-2008) who was noted for his honesty and candour.

As special minister of state, Senator Faulkner developed reforms of freedom of information (FOI), protection of whistleblowers, plus codes of conduct for ministers and lobbyists.

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