Australians of the Year 2016

This information is readily available, but not in a way you can read it through without clicking this way and that.

Something that amazes me is that in all four lists, there’s not a single ‘A lister’ or ‘elite’ sports person.

Let me repeat that: not one single celebrity.

What on earth has happened to the National Australia Day Council? Have they for some reason become the last bastion of those who will not heed the instructions of their political ‘betters’?

If so, good on them, and may their shadows never grow less.

Note: In compiling this list, I seem to have hit WordPress’s word limit – so you will have to search Australia’s Local Heroes all by yourselves. Meanwhile, stand by to be impressed:

Australian of the Year

Australian Capital Territory – David Morrison AO

Equality advocate

Few would expect a tough-as-nails Chief of Army to be recognised internationally for his commitment to gender equality, diversity and inclusion. But when former Lieutenant-General David Morrison ordered misbehaving troops to ‘get out’ if they couldn’t accept women as equals, his video went viral and he started a cultural shift that has changed Australia’s armed forces forever. Since then, the number of women joining the army has grown by two per cent and the culture is more accepting of racial, ethnic and sexual diversity. In 2014, David was invited to speak at the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, sharing the stage with US Secretary of State John Kerry and actor and activist Angelina Jolie, and arguing that militaries that exclude women ‘do nothing to distinguish the soldier from the brute’. David retired in 2015 after 36 years in the Australian Army, and four years as its Chief, but he continues his commitment as a champion of human rights in his new role as the Chair of the Diversity Council Australia.

New South Wales – Elizabeth Broderick

Social change innovator

It takes a special person to bring together captains of industry, governments and Defence Force chiefs to address gender inequality. But that’s exactly what Elizabeth Broderick has done. As Sex Discrimination Commissioner from 2007 to 2015, Elizabeth was tireless in her determination to break down the structural and social barriers preventing women from reaching their potential. A key advocate for Australia’s national paid parental leave scheme, Elizabeth fought for changes to regulations to increase the number of women at decision-making level and also to elevate the voices of women in marginalised communities. She established the globally recognised Male Champions of Change strategy, enlisting a ‘who’s who’ of powerful businessmen to tackle gender inequality in the workplace and her Review into the Treatment of Women in the Australian Defence Force led to sweeping cultural reforms. Elizabeth is an adviser to the United Nations, the World Bank and NATO and is a powerful and influential voice in the struggle for gender equality enlisting both women and men as agents of change.

Northern Territory – Will MacGregor

Youth worker

Having experienced severe drug and alcohol problems in his youth, Will MacGregor understands the challenges facing many young people in the Northern Territory. After getting help for his addictions – and remaining sober for more than three decades – Will wanted to help others. Following consultation with Aboriginal elders and community leaders from across the Territory, Will started taking young people into the bush for days at a time to help them dry out and detox. After several years of operating from the back of a 4WD, Will gained funding in 2009 and BushMob was born. Now a 20-bed facility with 28 staff, BushMob takes marginalised young people ‘out bush’ to build their self-esteem and respect for each other. The participants tackle problems like alcohol and drug abuse, violence and suicide and can remain in the program for up to two months. Will is focused on natural healing, cultural respect and empowerment to help young people make positive choices and rebuild their lives.

Queensland – Catherine McGregor AM

Diversity champion

A Group Captain in the RAAF and former Lieutenant Colonel in the Army seeing operational service in East Timor three times, Catherine McGregor announced that she was changing her gender in 2012, moving from Malcolm to Catherine. Since then, Catherine has told the stories of thousands of hidden transgender Australians through her own lived experience, speaking at forums such as the National Press Club in Canberra and at capital city writers’ festivals. Her story as a leader for the transgender community has been documented in the Australian Women’s Weekly and national newspapers and she’s featured in the ABC’s Australian Story. A well-known cricket commentator, author and political columnist, Catherine’s remarkably brave journey has not been without its challenges but it has brought her great personal contentment and inspired others to be true to themselves. With large stocks of courage, eloquence and confronting candour, Catherine has become a leading figure in the transgender community and as a result Australians have gained a greater understanding and acceptance of the transgender community.

South Australia – Dr John Greenwood AM

Burns surgeon

Looking after 450 acute burns patients each year might seem like a full time job, but Dr John Greenwood has set his sights on excellent and affordable burn care for every patient around the world. A plastic surgeon and Medical Director of the Adult Burn Centre at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, John cares for all adults sustaining burn injury in South Australia, Northern Territory, western New South Wales and western Victoria – an area covering some 2.4 million square kilometres. John runs state-wide education services, heads the nation’s only mobile burn response unit for burn injuries in disaster scenarios and he was dispatched to Darwin in the aftermath of the 2002 Bali bombings. Since 2003, John has been developing a suite of innovative burn care and skin substitute products based on a biodegradable polyurethane platform that replace the skin graft. John’s selfless service to burn patients is improving survival rates and making life better for people around the world.

Tasmania – Jane Hutchinson

Conservationist

A committed conservationist, Jane Hutchinson was one of a handful of volunteers who started the Tasmanian Land Conservancy (TLC) in 2001. Since then, TLC has grown from a $50 bank account to a $30 million organisation which protects 65,000 hectares of habitat for threatened flora and fauna. Jane has steered TLC from a humble not-for-profit to a highly-regarded organisation acknowledged for its important and innovative conservation work. Jane has devoted countless hours to her cause. While practicing law, Jane helped establish TLC’s constitutional and financial frameworks in her spare time. She sat on the TLC Board for five years, including three years as President, before stepping into the role of Chief Executive Officer in 2011. Jane’s persistence has paid off and she now leads science-driven conservation projects which safeguard the habitat of threatened species, including the Tasmanian devil, wedge-tailed eagle and Clarence Galaxias native fish. Under Jane’s watchful eye, TLC now protects more than two per cent of Tasmania’s private land.

Victoria – Julian McMahon

Barrister and human rights advocate

A human rights advocate and fierce opponent of the death penalty, barrister Julian McMahon has a personal and passionate commitment to represent Australians in capital punishment cases abroad. Admitted to the Victorian Bar in 1998, for more than 13 years Julian has worked without payment for Australians facing the death penalty. Julian’s clients include Van Tuong Nguyen in Singapore, George Forbes in Sudan and members of the Bali Nine, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran. In the months leading up to the executions of Chan and Sukumaran in April 2015, the overwhelming demands of their case required Julian and other lawyers on the case to make many personal sacrifices and, in Julian’s case, to exclude all other work. Instead, he remained wholly focused on his clients. Julian is on the board of Jesuit Social Services and is now President of Reprieve Australia. Articulate and measured, with longstanding community involvement, Julian speaks publicly about the death penalty and justice issues.

Western Australia – Anne Carey

Medical warrior

A nurse, midwife and medical warrior, Anne Carey has spent her life helping others – even when it has been at great personal risk. Anne has provided health care for remote communities in hospitals and clinics across Papua New Guinea, Northern Territory and Western Australian. As an Australian Red Cross aid worker in some of the world’s hotspots including Sudan, Kenya and most recently Sierra Leone, Anne leaves an impact on everyone she meets. During her time in Sudan, Anne and her colleagues came under attack, but while others left, they courageously stayed put to help the local residents. In Sierra Leone, she spent three assignments battling on the frontline against the deadly Ebola virus and was amongst the first volunteers to assist. Every day, she was taped into a personal protection suit, and while she may have looked inhuman in her all-white sterilised suit, thick rubber gloves and perspex goggles, Anne extended humanity with a simple touch and professional care that helped people understand they were not alone. Despite the death, fear and despair felt during the Ebola outbreak, Anne was a beacon of hope and continues the desperate fight to save the lives of people most in need.

Senior Australian of the Year

Australian Capital Territory – Professor Greg Tegart AM FTSE

Scientist and technology advocate

At 86 years of age, Professor Greg Tegart is a leading advocate for smart assistive technologies that give aged and disabled people independence and a better quality of life. Greg’s distinguished career spans research in metallurgy and materials, and high level executive and policy positions in industry, the CSIRO and the federal government. The extent of Greg’s contribution to Australian science and technology policy over four decades is substantial. He led Australia’s initial participation in climate change assessment through the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and was recognised for his contribution to the awarding of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize to the IPCC. He has been a leader in studies linking technology to the future of society. In recent years, Greg’s world-leading work to promote smart assistive technologies for aged and disability care has enabled many Australians to lead more empowered and independent lives. Greg provides a real-world example of the contribution that older people can make to the Australian community.

New South Wales – Professor Gordian Fulde

Doctor

From midnight to dawn, while most people are in bed, Professor Gordian Fulde is presiding over one of Australia’s busiest emergency departments. The Director of Emergency at St Vincent’s Hospital and Sydney Hospital for more than three decades, Gordian is the longest serving emergency department director in Australia. The doctor on call when disaster strikes, Gordian has seen it all and is passionately outspoken about the scourge of ‘ice’ and alcohol-fuelled violence which delivers a flood of people into Australian hospitals each weekend. While you will occasionally see him appear on Kings Cross ER, Gordian is also actively involved in teaching and training students and staff in many facets of emergency medicine. A member of the Board of the Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation, Gordian also supports many schools and community organisations, sharing his stories of working in an urban warzone, and warning of the dangers of a binge drinking culture, which is overwhelmingly the main cause of injury in Australia’s emergency departments.

Northern Territory – Bob Shewring

Repatriation campaigner

Twenty five Australian soldiers killed in the Vietnam War never returned home to Australia. Vietnam veteran, Bob Shewring has spent years lobbying governments to bring home the bodies of these soldiers buried overseas after they were killed in the line of duty. Bob established Operation “Bring Them Home” in 2014 and spent countless hours researching war history and legislation. He garnered more than 40,000 signatures through an online petition before the Australian Government announced in May 2015 it would repatriate the bodies from cemeteries in Malaysia and Singapore back home to Australia, providing the next of kin’s agree. Until February 1966, the government required soldiers’ families to pay for their bodies to be repatriated back to Australia. For Bob, this campaign is personal. Twenty five of the 521 Australians killed in the Vietnam War didn’t make it home and Bob’s mate Reg Hillier is one of them. Bob is determined to see these soldiers finally welcomed home, receive full military honours at “one of the biggest ramp ceremonies in Australia’s history” and to right a terrible wrong from the Vietnam War.

Queensland – Tim Fairfax AC

Philanthropist

One of the country’s most successful businessmen, Tim Fairfax is also one of the most generous. With pastoral interests in Queensland and New South Wales, Tim is passionate about supporting rural, remote and regional communities. The founder of the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation, Tim has gifted more than $16 million since 2008 to community-based arts, music and sporting projects in regional Australia. Tim also chairs the board of the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation, named after his father, which has donated more than $100 million. A keen supporter of The Ekka, Tim is also Chancellor of the Queensland University of Technology and promotes higher educational opportunities, particularly to students in struggling rural communities. A founding benefactor of the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra, Tim is one of its largest donors. Sitting on numerous boards and trusts for the arts, Tim is a keen collector and donor of art and is making an extraordinary philanthropic contribution to Australia’s arts community.

South Australia – Monica Oliphant AO

Scientist

An inspiring advocate for science and sustainability, Monica Oliphant has influenced the future of energy consumption around the world. Starting out as a laser physicist, she is now recognised internationally as a pioneer in the use of solar photovoltaics and renewable energy. Monica has devoted her long career – much in her own time and without financial reward – to the promotion of renewable energy both in Australia and overseas. As a senior research scientist with the Electricity Trust of South Australia for two decades, Monica undertook research into renewable energy, with her work enabling grid-connected solar and wind power. Globally-recognised as a leader in her field, Monica has shared her knowledge at conferences in many countries and her work has facilitated development of clean energy policies around the world. Volunteering her time on boards and energy associations culminated in the presidency of the International Solar Energy Society. Monica has maintained a lifelong commitment to improving all people’s access, particularly those of lower socio-economic status, to environmentally and economically sustainable energy.

Tasmania – Professor Ian Allison AO AAM

Glaciologist

A pioneer of Australia’s glaciological research program since the 1960s, Professor Ian Allison is acclaimed internationally as a glaciologist, making a significant contribution to climate science. An outstanding contributor to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Assessment Reports on Climate Change, Ian has worked tirelessly to synthesise global research results. He spent many years with the Australian Antarctic Division, ultimately leading the Ice, Oceans, Atmosphere and Climate program. As co-chair of the International Polar Year in 2007-08, Ian drove a coordinated, intense period of observational research activity in the Polar Regions. Ian’s enduring contribution to Antarctic affairs and the Antarctic community has been recognised with awards and accolades, such as the naming of Allison Glacier on Heard Island. Ian’s legacy also includes the work of the many PhD students he has supervised who have, themselves, made significant contributions to science. Ian’s community-mindedness and willingness to push ahead with fresh ideas has helped Australia build an internationally-respected scientific community.

Victoria – Jack Charles

Indigenous elder and role model

One of the nation’s most respected and enduring actors, Jack Charles is a member of Australia’s stolen generation. Removed from his mother as a baby and raised in a Salvation Army boys’ home, Jack knew nothing of his Indigenous heritage as a child. At 19 he began a career as an actor, but his life was plagued by personal demons. His addiction to heroin and a life of crime saw him jailed. Despite his struggles, he co-founded Australia’s first Indigenous theatre group, Nindethana, meaning ‘place of corroboree’, at Melbourne’s Pram Factory in 1971. His first play, Jack Charles is Up and Fighting, was a runaway hit. Jack has appeared in several movies, including the landmark film, The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, and more recently Pan alongside Hugh Jackman. He has also toured his own one-man stage show locally and internationally. Now calm and centred, Jack is a strong role model for a new generation of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people.

Western Australia – Graham Edwards AM

Veterans’ advocate

While serving in Vietnam in 1970, Graham Edwards was hit by an exploding mine. Both his legs had to be amputated, but he never let his disability get the better of him. Returning to civilian life, he battled the aftershocks of war and fought discrimination before moving into public affairs and politics. Spending 14 years of service in the WA Legislative Council, including as a senior minister and nine years in the federal parliament, Graham actively contributed to defence, disability services and veterans’ policy. While juggling his parliamentary responsibilities, Graham devoted many hours to his twin passions: the Paralympic movement and veterans’ rights. Today, as State President of the Returned & Services League of Australia, Graham oversees a membership base of 10,000 people, sits by bedsides, lobbies government for funding and organises large events to commemorate the sacrifice made by many, particularly for the 2015 Centenary of Gallipoli. A board member of the Australian War Memorial, Graham is ensuring that the nation’s war heroes gain the recognition they deserve.

Young Australian of the Year

Australian Capital Territory – Nipuni Wijewickrema

Social entrepreneur

A young woman trying to change the world “one flower at a time”, Nipuni Wijewickrema runs a floristry business designed to create employment opportunities for people with special needs. Nip, as she is affectionately known, first established GG’s Florist with her family to ensure her 16 year old younger sister Gayana would have fulfilling work after graduating from high school. Gayana, who has was born with Down syndrome, is now famous around Canberra for her floral deliveries that always come with a big hug. From a backyard garden shed, Nip has shown other local organisations how to create safe working environments for people with disabilities. As well as working full-time and managing the family floristry business, Nip is a volunteer counsellor with Lifeline and contributes regularly to community initiatives, assisting many young people through her work with the ACT Youth Advisory Council. Passionate, dedicated, driven and incredibly sleep deprived, Nip has developed a socially sustainable business model which is changing the way Canberrans think about inclusion.

New South Wales – Melissa Abu-Gazaleh

Young men’s health advocate

Tired of seeing young men painted as constant liabilities to the community, Melissa Abu-Gazaleh established the youth-led Top Blokes Foundation when she was just 19. As Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Melissa is helping Australia combat anti-social and risk-taking behaviours among young men and busting many negative stereotypes along the way. Reaching thousands of 14 to 24 year old males each year, the Top Blokes Foundation fosters young men’s social inclusion, resilience and mental health, while empowering them to contribute to their community through volunteering. Melissa’s social education program the Junior Top Blokes Mentoring Program, for example, challenge boys to address issues like alcohol, drugs, mental health, anger, masculinity and pornography. What started off as a project within her local community has now provided Melissa with a national platform to improve and advocate for young men’s health in Australia. Melissa is a seasoned public speaker, sits on boards and committees and manages a team of 14 people who are passionate about young men’s health empowering them to be agents of change.

Northern Territory – Benjamin Masters

Musician and impresario

The drive of this young Darwin drummer is making opportunities for up-and-coming performers in the Top End. Benjamin Masters is passionately engaged in his local music scene, performing, mentoring and supporting local talent. Ben’s all-ages, drug and alcohol free music gigs have grown in size and create opportunities for Darwin bands to play to a big crowd. The driving force behind the Terrorfest music festival, Ben coordinates an event which attracts a line-up of more than 10 bands and receives a rapturous response from the crowd. Ben’s heavy metal band, I, The Burden, has won awards, produced EPs and music videos and toured nationally. A drumming tutor for high school musicians and mentor for MusicNT, Ben also established his own booking agency to give beginner bands a shot at jumping on stage with some of their national idols. A shining example of a young leader, Ben is using his passion for music to help others and strengthen his community.

Queensland – Nic Marchesi and Lucas Patchett

Social entrepreneurs

Best mates, Nic Marchesi and Lucas Patchett built a free mobile laundry in their old van to help the homeless. Orange Sky Laundry began in September 2014 and since then, the world first idea has rapidly expanded to five vans in Brisbane, Melbourne, South East Victoria, Sydney and the Gold Coast. Run by over 270 volunteers, the custom fitted vans with two commercial washing machines and two dryers, service over 36 locations and wash over 350 loads each week. A catalyst for bringing people of all walks of life together, Orange Sky facilitates countless hours of conversations each week. In February 2015, they took their mobile laundry to North Queensland to wash clothes in cyclone effected communities. Nic and Lucas have found a way to treat others the way they want to be treated by restoring respect, raising health standards and reducing the strain on resources. They now plan to expand services Australia-wide with the aim of positively connecting the community and improving the lives of others.

South Australia – Arman Abrahimzadeh

Domestic violence campaigner

Domestic violence was a normal part of childhood for Arman Abrahimzadeh and his sisters. The Adelaide siblings lived in fear of their domineering father, who, in 2010, would eventually murder their mother Zahra in front of 300 people on a dance floor at the Adelaide Convention Centre. Arman and his sister were left to parent their 12 year old sister and continue their mother’s battles in court. A gentle young man, Arman vowed to never follow his father’s footsteps into a cycle of abuse. Now a White Ribbon Ambassador, Arman works with various organisations to support victims and raise awareness. A passionate advocate for better legislation to protect women and children, Arman speaks to schools, sporting clubs and police cadet training. In 2015, he established the Zahra Foundation Australia to assist women in crisis and empower them with education and financial independency. While his life has been scarred, Arman is reaching out to help the half a million Australian women experiencing domestic violence each year.

Tasmania – Zac Lockhart

Mental health advocate

At just 16, Zac Lockhart became one of the 26,000 young Australians who are homeless, after circumstances at home forced him into a youth shelter. Determined to promote a positive message and reduce the stigma attached to homelessness, Zac has become an ambassador for homeless youth in Tasmania. With homelessness and mental health often deeply connected, Zac has since stepped up efforts to help people experiencing mental illness. Zac’s film, The Flourish A-B-C of Mental Health, shares successful strategies that support good mental health, and encourages people to ‘act, belong and commit’. Studying full-time, working a casual job, establishing his own video production business while living in supported accommodation, Zac inspires everyone he meets with his passion, bravery and generosity in sharing his own lived experience of mental illness. Zac is shining a light on the mental health challenges faced by one in four Australians, while working hard to achieve his own personal goal of having a home and family of his own.

Victoria – Robert Gillies

Social enterprise founder

Undertaking three university degrees simultaneously, leading an orchestra and playing for a number of sporting clubs would leave most people exhausted. But not Robert Gillies. He’s also found the time to devote himself to social enterprises that make a difference to some of our most vulnerable citizens. When he’s not studying for his Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery, his Masters’ in Public Health or Diploma in Philosophy, Robert can be found helping those experiencing homelessness. A Co-Founder of Homeless of Melbourne, Robert is determined to change negative attitudes towards homelessness through his charity clothing store ‘HoMie’. As Executive-Director of Yarra Swim Co, Robert is reviving the historic ‘Race to Princes Bridge’ and leading the push for a swimmable Yarra River. He’s worked as an HIV researcher and served on the board of directors for charities preventing poverty overseas and in remote Indigenous communities. Enthusiastic and determined, Robert is a role model for all young Australians wanting to make the world a better place.

Western Australia – Catherine Hughes

Immunisation champion

After her youngest child Riley died from whooping cough, Catherine Hughes became an ardent campaigner for vaccination. One month old Riley was too young to be immunised against the deadly respiratory bacteria, also known as pertussis. Rather than allow her grief to overwhelm her, Catherine has channelled her energy into immunisation awareness. Within days of Riley’s death, she established the “Light for Riley” Facebook page which now reaches more than 70,000 people. As a direct result of Riley’s death, every State and Territory in Australia has implemented free booster shots for pregnant women to provide the best defence against whooping cough in newborn babies. With no thought of reward, Catherine has met with politicians, attended parenting expos, raised over $70,000 for whooping cough research, instigated a viral campaign for the donation of over 45,000 vaccines to UNICEF and shared her story to ensure no other family has to live without their child due to a preventable disease.

580 thoughts on “Australians of the Year 2016

  1. TNews publishes the article Nick Ross wrote in 2013 that the ABC did not publish so as not offend Turncoat:

    http://www.itwire.com/it-industry-news/telecoms-and-nbn/71165-issues-with-coalition-nbn-costs-2013-exclusive

    Nick rips the Lib statements on price comparisons for the NBN & MTM apart.

    From our vantage point in 2016 we know the costs of the MTM mess, with little run out as yet, have blown out to $56Bn with another .6Bn due to problems with Telstra copper and the Optus HFC (which would have been known about before the MTM mess was decided on!) We also know the completion date for the MTM has slipped badly.

  2. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Australian of the year David Morrison gets off to a good start.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/australian-of-the-year-david-morrison-delivers-turnbull-slapdown-in-first-speech-20160125-gmdsck.html
    Rosie Batty’s year of grief and opportunity.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/rosie-battys-year-of-grief-and-opportunity-i-have-been-genuinely-astounded-20160125-gmdhdq.html
    What do you think of this top Australia Day honour?
    http://www.smh.com.au/business/cbd/hes-no-knight-but-mitch-hooke-gets-honoured-for-his-mining-tax-axe-20160125-gmdd3h.html
    Turnbull’s ministry reshuffle is on hold waiting for Truss’s intentions to come clear. (Is it possible that Truss is trying to get someone other than Barnaby Joyce to be leader of the Nats?)
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/turnbull-ministerial-reshuffle-on-hold-until-warren-truss-reveals-his-future-20160125-gmdg42.html
    As is Turnbull’s vision for Australia to become a republic. Abbott and the right wing rump have him bluffed.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/internal-politics-stalls-pms-vision-for-a-republic-20160125-gmdpjh.html
    Meanwhile Peter FitzSimons says that it is too import to wait any longer to move to become a republic.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/the-time-is-now-an-australian-republic-is-too-important-to-wait-20160125-gmdknk.html
    This SMH editorial agrees.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/smh-editorial/australia-day-should-remain-on-january-26-but-move-to-a-republic-must-begin-20160125-gmdmw1.html
    Greg Barns puts it to us that this time the republican thrust must be community driven rather than by politicians.
    http://www.theage.com.au/comment/this-time-the-republic-movement-must-be-community-driven-20160125-gmdcu9.html
    Alan Austin – Does Scott Morrison really have a clue? Austin takes a on a trip through what is not really a beautiful set of numbers.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/does-scott-morrison-really-have-a-clue,8607
    Stand by South Australia, the Xenophon juggernaut is coming!
    http://thenewdaily.com.au/news/2016/01/25/nick-xenophon-party-beats-labor-sa-poll/

  3. Section 2 . . .

    Lynton Crosby as the UK Australian of the Year? You must be joking!
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jan/25/lynton-crosby-uk-australian-of-the-year-you-must-be-joking
    Michelle Grattan doesn’t see much ahead for Abbott.
    https://theconversation.com/the-next-stage-of-parliamentary-life-will-be-the-toughest-character-test-abbott-has-faced-in-politics-53632
    Woolworths’ Masters fiasco – a failure in corporate governance that ASIC should have a good look at.
    https://theconversation.com/masters-a-failure-of-corporate-governance-53619
    Now Morrison’s under pressure to scrap work related tax deductions as the rich push the boundaries.
    http://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/scrap-workrelated-deductions-offer-personal-tax-cuts-turnbull-told-20160125-gmdktv.html
    Peter Hartcher on how Turnbull is positioning Australia with respect to the US alliance.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/malcolm-turnbull-has-two-very-different-messages-on-the-state-of-our-us-alliance-20160125-gmdnbz.html
    Sarah Palin’s contribution to feminism.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/sarah-palin-saves-feminism-20160124-gmd844.html
    What is “white privilege”?
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/what-is-white-privilege-20160124-gmd82x.html
    Abbott’s off to the US to spruik his very conservative views to a rather charming group.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/tony-abbott-jets-to-us-to-address-abortion-and-gaymarriage-opponents-alliance-defending-freedom-20160125-gmdi7r.html
    Andrew Webster has some sage advice to our new wave of tennis playing boys.
    http://www.theage.com.au/sport/tennis/criticising-bernard-tomic-and-nick-kyrgios-is-like-shooting-fish-in-a-barrel-its-that-easy-20160125-gmdims.html
    Customer relations US-style.
    http://www.theage.com.au/world/dispute-over-us25-fee-leads-to-fatal-gunstore-shootout-in-us-police-say-20160125-gmdtwr.html

  4. Section 3 . . . with Cartoon Corner

    Our children need instruction in ethics rather than religion.
    http://www.theage.com.au/comment/cheaters-never-prosper-its-essential-to-our-society-20160125-gmdf96.html
    Ron Tandberg on Abbott’s US visit.

    Great work from Cathy Wilcox on Clivolutionary Theory.

    Alan Moir really puts the boot into Palmer. Captain Courageous.

    And Jon Kudelka joins in on Clive.
    http://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/c3a54f0bc21a5448d5640e322ac1dcdc
    Matt Golding with an aged care KPI.
    http://www.smh.com.au/photogallery/federal-politics/cartoons/matt-golding-20151124-gl6ndp.html?selectedImage=1
    Australia Day courtesy of Pat Campbell.

    Macca and the Australian sickie.
    http://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/5280a988260ea9ba049197c2ff244266?width=1024&api_key=zw4msefggf9wdvqswdfuqnr5

  5. BK – Crosby and Hooke blatant partisan awards.

    Nelson it appears deserved his. Fairly well acknowledged that he did well in Brussels and also has the support of staff at the AWM (something that has eluded many others appointed to our cultural institutions). It seems the man who was rated as the 2nd most vain person in Australian politics has something going for him.

  6. What we in social media suspected and then knew by dribs and drabs and experienced instinct has proved to be correct in every sense of the complaint that the MSM. has a blanket collusion to both deny and to distort any news story favourable to the left side of politics until it becomes overwhelmingly too big to refute or ignore.
    This Nick Ross story is one such story that must be brought to the attention of the broader reading public. How social media does that is the challenge.

  7. I’ve decided (after a great deal of thought on the subject) to start up my own State. Given that so much support can be gleaned by calling ones project a “State” in these “I’m excited!” days, I have decided that post retirement party, I am going to declare my Mallee Residence the headquarters of the : ISIS. ….: The ” In Situ Idle State.” Given that the title is self explanatory of the requirements of any and all recruits, there will be no need to travel here to join in any “activities”…but you can send your joining fee by “Pay-pal”..or snail-mail (I prefer the former).
    I can promise, for those excited fanatics keen to participate, complete satisfaction in the activities not planned.

  8. CTar1

    Thanks.
    .
    For the felines of the Pub. The emancipation of cats has begun in NZ .

    Chairman Meow, of Henderson, was sent a letter on January 19 instructing him to enrol, which presents enough difficulties in its own right, let alone the fact the cat is currently missing.

    ………..she recently changed her address with New Zealand Post and was required to register all occupants who receive mail…….”I listed my cat’s name because he often receives letters from the vet,” the 32-year-old said.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/76207203/loophole-means-cat-sent-election-enrollment-forms
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CZb6h0SUUAAKkZG.jpg,
    ,
    The Chairman.

  9. “Rachel Finch interviews racquet stringer.”

    Now THAT tells you it is a quiet news day.

  10. Gonna drag the old Bedford out today…kick the tyres and get it ready for a trip over the hills tomorrow..Gotta wake the old girl up and kick her into gear..Be a bit of a change to see how those hillsiders are getting on..gonna go past BKs. joint..will give you a toot, BK. have to stop into Coop’s for some gear I think..

  11. Cats on the electoral roll –

    Years ago, when the kids were teenagers, we adopted two kittens, replacements for sadly departed senior cats.

    Not long after one of the boys turned 18 and we did the paperwork to get him onto the electoral roll.

    The kids told me I should have registered the kittens, too. They had human names, it would have been easy enough to fake a birth date and sign then up. In NSW there is no requirement for anyone to actually see the person being enrolled, or to produce any ID or birth certificates, all you need is the endorsement of an enrolled voter. It would have been so easy…..

    I should have done it. The kittens grew into fine, intelligent cats and would have been much wiser voters than the National Party idiots around here. They could have voted by postal vote, no-one would have known they were really cats.

    It’s easy enough to get a fake person onto the electoral roll. It makes you wonder how many fakes there actually are, sending in their postal votes every election…. could that be why postal votes always favour the Coalition?

    • Leone..
      you seem to be “in the know” on such issues..I have the marriage certificate for my grandparents who were married there in Hunter’s Hill Sydney in 1927..the certificate has the odfficial stamp of the Registar and it is a copy obtained in 1998…However, it appears to have been filled out by the one hand..ie; all the signatures and names and information has been entered by the same hand..and THAT writing I instantly recognised (and checked against letters I have) as my grandmothers.

      What gives?

    • I don’t really have an explanation, just guesses.

      Some of the old family wedding certificates I have are just like that, all in the same hand-writing. I have no way of knowing whose writing it is. I always assumed it was done by whoever did the wedding ceremony if they were done on the wedding day. Some are copies of official registry entries made after the wedding day with a note to say they were copied from the church register, so it’s easy to explain the handwriting there being the same – done by office staff.

  12. jaycee@jaycee ‏@trulyjaycee 2m2 minutes ago Adelaide, South Australia

    Hell..had to turn RN. off..all this goo!..What happened to humble gratitude ;eg :”Good mark, mate”..
    “Oh..ta”
    “Yeah..next ,try both hands”.

  13. jaycee@jaycee ‏@trulyjaycee now th’ Mallee, South Australia

    God I’m lucky to live in this country…location so far from having to “celebrate” and “sing” the national anthem..just p&q..God I’m lucky!

  14. Canberra Australia Day military parade failure … the Navy Band noticeably not lined up behind the Federation Guard.

  15. Catching up on some Mark David.

    It’s closer than you think.

    What do do about Abbott

    And my favourite.
    Abbott picks his role.

  16. I write this post out of sheer joy.

    For the last six months I have been experiencing a severely temperature-sensitive tooth. Cold water, especially, even sucking air over it could cause a BB exclamation of pain.

    I resigned myself to either losing the tooth or spending a fortune on root canal therapy, neither of them an enticing possibility.

    On holidays last week we were accompanied by a doctor friend of my wife’s. She is a psychiatrist, but in the recent past has also worked as a GP.

    The tooth, sensitive mainly to cold before, became throbbingly painful and sensitive to any pressure during our camping exursion.

    I took all the usual pain remedies – Prodeine, ibuprophen etc. – but they only muffled the pain a bit.

    The doctor friend suggested I might need anti-biotics. I resisted, but finally gave in. She wrote me a scrip in long hand, literally on a page ripped out of her diary. She rang the local village chemist and advised him I would be coming down. Who knew you didn’t need an official printed scrip form?

    The end result is that not only has the throbbing gone away, but as a bonus so has the temperature sensitivity. It may have been a small abscess all that time, one that flared up in the last week, not necessarily an exposed nerve. I feel better than I’ve felt for six months.

    This does not mean that I will now stop being cranky at the RWNJs, or vote Liberal, or anything silly like that. But it may explain some of my grumpiness in the past year.

    “The tooth is out there”.

    • You stupid stubborn fool. You get pain to tell you something is wrong and go fix it. And of course the dentist wants to do root canal instead of giving you a course of antibiotics. I wonder why Mrs BB hasn’t kicked you up the arske before now.

  17. Tones off to do the traditional ambitious pollies’ kissing of Rupes’ ring. Rupes has lost his marbles if he thinks Abbott is going to get a second chance.
    .
    BevanShields: Via @markgkenny: News Corp has confirmed Tony Abbott will meet with Rupert Murdoch during the former PM’s trip to the US #auspol

    • Rupert is like one of those olden days oriental potentate , where HE doesn’t have to go to meet ‘n’ greet..THEY come to him.

      Like Tiberius ; he knows where all the bodies are buried.

  18. jaycee

    Rupert is like one of those olden days oriental potentate , where HE doesn’t have to go to meet ‘n’ greet..THEY come to him.

    MT used to meet with him at No 10.

    Rupert would arrive via Horse Guards Parade and enter No 10 via the back door.

  19. This article ties climate change measures in with environmental stewardship measures such as biodiversity conservation and preservation of key species. Not just ‘plant a few trees’ either!
    Well worth reading for a different perspective from the general run of climate change articles:

    How ‘Natural Geoengineering’ Can Help Slow Global Warming

    Natural ecological processes already offer many reliable and safe ways to remove CO2 from the atmosphere. Currently, natural processes — such as photosynthesis by tropical trees and marine phytoplankton, and CO2 absorption by ocean waters — remove and store more than half of the carbon emissions generated by human activities. With thoughtful environmental stewardship there is the promise of doing more, and doing it in more environmentally friendly ways.

    However, doing more requires a sea change in mindset. It entails conflating the climate issue with another environmental issue of global proportions — biodiversity conservation. Climate change is commonly viewed as causing collateral damage to biodiversity. Species, especially animals, are viewed as unwitting victims, passengers stuck on a ship that is headed on an ill-fated voyage. A changing mindset sees animal species as important drivers of the climate ship, so biodiversity management and conservation may be a key to fixing the climate change problem.

  20. Will Marshmallow Malcolm have anything to say about this? Will he enforce his own government’s legislation? Will Shorten say anything? Nope, nope and nope.

    Leading Australian doctor challenges Malcolm Turnbull, Bill Shorten over ‘torture-like conditions’ at detention centres

    One of Australia’s leading doctors has challenged the Prime Minister to prosecute him for speaking out about what he calls “torture-like conditions” in offshore detention centres.
    Doctor wrote to politicians calling on them to prosecute him for speaking out under Border Force Act
    Professor David Isaacs has been an outspoken critic of the centres, but under the Border Force Act, contractors working in immigration detention — including doctors and aid workers — face two years’ imprisonment for revealing details of what happens in detention centres.

    The paediatrician visited Nauru in December 2014.

    Professor Isaacs said he had now written to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton and Labor leader Bill Shorten challenging them to prosecute him under the Act, or to repeal the legislation

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-01-26/doctor-challenges-pm-over-immigration-detention-centres/7113966

  21. In other, more depressing news, Her Indoors has now been suspended from her job, pending an official investigation into her “poor” workplace behaviour in the near future.

    It is so easy when a manager makes up workplace crimes, and then alleges that the employee committed them, and then fails to respond to the employee’s response. Instead they squirrel the documents away (minus responses), all the better to present a one-sided version of events to future investigators, who are (of course) not “independent” at all, and are in fact close colleagues and mates of the manager, who have a vested interest in protecting that manager (and through that, themselves and their positions). They do a favour for the manager. The manager, one day down the track, does one for them.

    The charges are ridiculous. They amount, at best, to no more than the usual run of typos and hiccups that any employee in a truly hectic office will make from time to time (and HI’s is hectic, due to deliberate “rightsizing” by management). Many of the same mistakes are made by managers, sometimes while pointing out the same mistake in HI’s work, but managers are good at forgiving themselves. Is including a sentence in an email twice a crime worth dismissal in disgrace, ending a 40 year unblemished employment record in shame? How about getting a date wrong (a mistake that the manager also gets wrong in the email pointing out the original error)? Is that worth the misery of a whispering campaign in the office, and quietly uttered vilification from other managers when no-one is listening? Is what HI has done the legal equivalent to taking drugs during work time, or physically assaulting a client? It may not be, but this is what we have been told, now officially.

    At worst the allegations are manufactured claptrap, often outright laughable, but written up in lascivious detail, lovingly polished and honed until they appear to be capital crimes. The “repeated sentence” allegation above took 6 pages of detailed “support” documentation to outline to HI. This allegation is surely a waste of her and her manager’s time. Such is obsession, and hatred. It also serves to bulk-out the “shit sheet”, to overwhelm HI and any investigator unfamiliar with the true situation with an avalanche of alleged malfeasance that breaks the spirit and leads to the conclusion that she must have done something wrong to piss her manager off so much.

    What HI has done wrong is to fight her manager and to win, for over 18 months. She has seen-off HR Directors (sacked for incompetence in dealing with HI’s case), and had her own manager’s decision to terminate overridden by direct order of the Chief Executive Officer, after considering the evidence (we hope) relatively dispassionately. Having a termination recommendation rejected by the highest power in the organization is a humiliation that caused HI’s manager, not to become contrite and conciliatory, but to become even more vicious in an attempt to prove that, despite being continually unsuccessful since 2014, she will be vindicated in the end. It’s as simple as that. It’s become an obsession on the part of this manager, clearly a mad one, borne of a personality disorder that should never be put in charge of anything more complicated than a lemonade stand. Captain Queeg comes to mind. Who stole the strawberries?

    The Union reckons we have no hope. They say that they’re only there to make sure she gets her rights, but can’t stop her being sacked: a triumph of Real Politik over substance. If we had followed similar Union advice back in 2014 – to be meek and submissive, not to anger the management, and to cop all the monstrous unfairness and vexatious allegations on the chin – we’d have been sacked by the middle of 2014. Instead we fought, and have taken a few scalps along the way: one HR director sacked, 6 HR “consultants” transferred, 4 executive “Decision Makers” recused from the case, and the humiliation of HI’s own manager by her boss.

    I’d like to go to next week’s investigation panel myself, to champion HI, but practically speaking it’s better not to piss-off the Union, lest they cast us loose. Suffice it to say they don’t have much of a clue as to the real facts. They find out about them on the day, in summary, by reading management’s case, not ours. They react in the intended manner: she must have done something wrong, and plea for mitigation in sentencing only, not acquittal. They have neither the inclination, the time, nor the passion to fight a cause for an individual. In HI’s branch of government, hit by crippling budget cuts, a toxic workplace atmosphere, a pall of blame, and entrenched cronyism among executive management, there are many “individuals”. You just can’t fight all of their cases. I understand, but I’m still disappointed.

    This time the bosses have done it better. The breaches of process aren’t as obvious. The botches not as apparent. They think they’re in with a better chance than the previous efforts. But the breaches are there (including attempted spying on confidential conversations, failure to assess responses, despite promising to do so, and idle threats of dismissal bandied about like drink-sodden New Year’s resolutions). But I expect they’ll get this one through, unless a miracle happens. We’ve just about exhausted our resources – emotional, financial and time – in fighting it, which is, of course, the situation they wanted: to wear us down by attrition.

    HI wishes to thank all those here who have cheered her on. Your support has been invaluable, more than youse know.

    • I can’t use the ‘Like’ button for this, because I don’t like it, not one bit.

      I’ll be cheering HI (and you) on until the bitter end, hoping there will be an eventual way to give this vindictive cow of a manager the punishment she deserves.

      I just hope HI is being paid during her suspension.

    • This is one of those times when I’d like to think there is a hell, because that’s where that bitch of a manager deserves to go. Sooner rather than later.

    • Don’t give up just yet, BB. It seems as if the continued attempts to get HI are laying grounds for some sort of harassment charge against said manager. I’m disappointed in the union’s ‘don’t rock the boat’ approach.

    • A point of observation could be raised in your OH’s defence, BB..: Since this “agenda” has been going on for so many months, taking the scalps of so many management persons and or their advisers and costing so much in time and money and it is still an ongoing trial and yet..yet here your OH. still is, still “strong in the arms”..a kind of “last man standing”..proof of enduring strength of character…would it not be better for the dep’t to both resolve the issue and to boost the strength of their management team, if they sacked the current head and put your OH. in her place, thus both problems would be resolved to the better of the dept’ ?

  22. Leone, yes, it’s paid leave. Last time they offered her leave it was unpaid. We told them where they could shove it.

    But with the paid leave comes the humiliation of being officially assessed as being such a risk – a danger in fact – to the organization that she cannot be allowed back into the office. Her job has already been taken over by someone else, before her employment body is even cold, so to speak. She loves the people she works with (with obvious exceptions) and they love her. She would never do anything to harm or inconvenience them. She is very conscientious like that. The job always comes first.

    Also, along with the suspension, the charges have been elevated to the level of “Serious Misconduct”. This means that if (or when) she is sacked she will get only her holiday pay, not the 1-month’s salary or notice due to her. It’s a final, bitchy punishment for upsetting her manager. If it was just “ordinary”misconduct she’d get that payment in lieu. But then again, if it was ordinary misconduct, they couldn’t sack her. They have to elevate it to “serious” to justify the time and expense they’ve gone to.

    We’ll be demanding to see the “risk assessment”. They have to do one. It has to be signed off. It has to be shown to the employee. It’s a very formal process, usually reserved for people committing physical assaults, or stealing property or drugs, not for typos. It will be interesting to see what “risks” it lists. If it exists at all.

    The person substituting for her is, according to HI, hopeless. Nice, but out of her depth, especially in the nest of vipers and nitpickers she will be finding herself working for. Hi and her have worked together before, and HI has needed to re-do most of her work. There’s a practical reason as well as a collaborative reason for this. Any mistakes made by anyone – managers, colleagues, even people outside the Deaprtment – that pass across HI’s desk undetected get blamed on HI, no matter how obscure or petty. So she is especially vigilant with management’s nominated replacement for her (I won’t say how we know that she’s the replacement, let’s just say an email fell off the back of a friendly, extremely senior truck).

    I’d like to think the replacement will fuck up, but HI takes a different tack. She is concerned that her colleagues will be disadvantaged by the replacement’s lack of corporate knowledge, that HI has built up over nearly 4 years of service. she is also concerned that the replacement is too suggestible, and too soft. She doesn’t stand up for herself. She is not assertive. This is good if you’re a manager looking for a bondage slave, but not good for the smooth operation of a very complex organization where there are often competing needs that require final adjudication by HI. It’ll be hard for HI to get out of the habit of caring about the place and the people, I think.

    • Been through the getting out of the habit of caring thing, it’s very hard. It took me a few years to manage it.

      I’d like to think the replacement will be a complete stuff-up and will cause no end of problems, so the manager will, in the end, get the blame for a badly-run department. It would be most excellent karma.

  23. The latest chapter in the “imagine the outrage if Labor had done it”!

    Yesterday I received my letter from state housing informing me of the new rules as regards income for pensioners and other benefit recipients.

    From now on the ‘compensation’ doled out by JWH for the GST will now be counted as income and subject to a 25% deduction for rent, along with medical and other assistance payments.

    Gouging pensioners for a few dollars is the work of scam artists and con men. It is low, despicable and nasty.

    Where is the outrage? You all know the answer to that.

  24. CK
    When one state goes down that road all the others follow, so I’ll expect the same sort of letter from NSW housing soon.

    It’s the same as the carbon price compensation. The feds said it was not be be included as income by state housing departments but the premiers ignored that and ruled it was to be included it in rent calculations.

    Where is the outrage? Don’t expect much. Yesterday, after my rant about the new NSW housing policy, we all saw that happens when you complain about the wrongs done to public housing tenants. A post dumping all tenants in the ‘they live in cockroach and rat-infested jungles because they never mow their lawns and have old mattresses all over the place’ basket, with a hastily tacked on ‘of course there are some good people who are tenants’ added, probably from fear of a feline clawing.

    I said the other day Morrison was thinking about making the carbon price compensation into GST compensation if/when he gets around to that increase, so he won’t have to hand over any more money to pensioners and people on benefits. I saw that coming a long time ago.

    Meanwhile Malcayman does all he can to minimise his tax, as do his rich mates.

  25. BB

    What timing, to do this over the holiday period. What a pack of mongrels. Sounds like they’re going to get someone who would be a fault, and will have to cover for her.

    Still keeping our fingers crossed for HI for next week.

  26. Yet again, am I the only Australian not in the honours list?

    Talk about devaluing the currency!

    • I nominated my cousin ;”Ron the brickie”..you never see a brickie on the honours list.

  27. c k watt
    I am not sure of the rules of your housing commission but those payments are not income. If you have a Tenants Association, they should challenge this.

    • puffy
      State housing departments can declare any part of a pension payment as income, even if it has been quarantined in the past. Tenants associations are powerless to do anything about this. Greedy, money-grubbing bastards, they are, and Labor is no better than the Coalition in this regard.

      You write to your local state MP about this gouging and you get back an unsympathetic form letter that tells you in not-so-polite terms you are damn lucky to have government housing so shut up and stop whining.

  28. Jeebus!..Oz day is getting to be as long as G’d Fri’..two of the longest days of the year now!

  29. He he . Our local federal representative Clive Palmer turned up, to the amazement of just about everyone, to our rainy Australia day festivities in the park. He probably didn’t get the reception he wanted. Much hilarity.nd some pretty strong language was directed at the” Hero” of QLD. Nickle. Clive wasn’t happy and soon bolted back to I guess his Gold Coast Mansion away from his ungrateful constituency
    I will be amazed if he runs again . He bought the election last time and only fooled enough people to scrap in by 70 votes. The amount of money he must have spent would be mind boggling. Non stop ads, radio, tv and papers.

    We are poorly served in Fairfax, years of the useless Alex Somolay, Then 1 term of the disgrace Palmer and we will end up with Ted O’Brien who has no connection to the area but strong family connections to Libs. Palmer beat him last time but he will get in this time.

  30. joe6pack

    out of interest is his resort still open? or has he run it into the ground?

  31. Gippsland Laborite

    Run into the ground. resort is closed. Championship golf course was closed but back open now but in a pretty tacky state
    . Having legal disputes with people who bought properties even turning of their water and electricity.

    He only bought the joint because he thought the libs would let him turn it into a mini Gold coast with high rises and a casino. Was one of the reasons he turned against them and started PUP.

    Who knows what will happen to it , From reports Nature is already taking it back.

  32. I’m a bit indifferent about the Google logo. I don’t think a USA. company that won’t pay it’s rightful Tax should be taking a moral stand about anything in Australia.
    I also don’t agree about Invasion Day. Australia Day celebrates all that is good about the place , Give Australia one day when we all try and have fun and get along and reflect that no matter anyone’s grievances we are lucky to be living here.

    • “…we are lucky to be living here.”…

      You see…:

      The Lone Ranger and Tonto are camped out on the prairie one night, whilst traveling to the next scene of righting a wrong, when suddenly they are attacked by Indians.

      “We’re outnumbered by fifty to one Tonto!” The Lone Ranger shouts “But if you cover my back and I cover yours, we can make it out of here!”

      To which Tonto calmly replies..:

      “What do you mean ; “WE” , white man!”

  33. 6Pack

    Somolay was the Libs first target when they wanted to get Brough back into Parliament.

    Somolay resisted the pressure to resign immediately so Brough could contest the resulting by-election but offered instead to actively collect as much ‘dirt’ on Slipper as he could.

    Honour amongst thieves? 😀

  34. Ctar1

    It’s good to know my elected representatives are working hard to enrich and help the people of the sunshine coast. All for no gain for themselves, just a sense of public duty.
    Excuse me now as I may vomit

  35. I don’t care for national days of celebration. to me they have become nothing more than retail opportunities and excuses for politicians to get their mugs in front of a camera. Or it’s just another day off, a booze-fest.

    Have you bought your Australia Day gear yet? Get triple Flybuys points on all your Australia Day shopping – that sort of rubbish. We get deluged with ads for lamb, we get swamped with soppy songs about a mythical Australia where the sun always shines and everyone lives at the beach. We are supposed to turn up at community celebrations in parks across the country. I want none of it. If I want to spare a few minutes to think of the ancestors who arrived in 1788 and what that meant for the people already here then I can do that any time I like. I don’t need a ‘special day’ for it.

    Same with all the other stuff – Anzac Day (Remember to buy your made in China Aussie flags fore the march), Melbourne Cup day (Have you stocked up on bubbly for your cup day party?), Grand Final day (Don’t forget to buy your footy merchandise) and all the rest.

    How many people even know what Australia Day is about? Ask anyone wearing a flag cape today if they know what Australia Day means. They will probably swear at you, yell ‘Aussie Aussie Aussie’ in your face and accuse you of being a Muslim before they go off for another beer.

    Bah Humbug to it all.

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