Monday, 26 January 2009

Australian of the Year

It is "Australia Day" and aboriginal activist Mick Dodson has been named "Australian of the Year". His nomination indicates the highly political process of such nominations. Mr Dodson does not even support the concept of "Australia Day". I am not sure I do either but it would be for entirely different reasons. However if Mr Dodson does not support the concept of Australia Day he should have declined the honour. It would have been far better to acknowledge the work and worth of aboriginal woman Faith Bandler or any number of other worthies.
Similarly the other Honours List was, once again, filled with sports people. This is always particularly so in the Honours List following an Olympics year. It is not sufficient to get an Olympic medal. It is necessary to get a 'gong' with it.
South Australia's list was so small as to be almost non-existent and included another long serving Labor MP. Like sportspeople MPs of a certain type (not party) seem to be automatically in line for an award.
It leaves the real achievers, the unpaid workers at places like Vinnies and other charities out in the cold. Those at the top of these organisations, all too often paid to do the job, may get acknowledged but those who get their hands dirty will be ignored.

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