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. leonetwo
    I will be a happy person. Bah humbug to whinnying and complaining about everything about Australia ‘
    We are not perfect far from it but Jesus would you rather be in the middle east or Europe
    Lighten up for just 1 day.
    you may live longer

    • I just knew someone would bite.

      I’ve spent all day ‘lightening up’ and doing whatever I want. I’m not whining about being Australian, I just have a violent dislike of alleged national days becoming retail opportunities.

      I don’t like, never have liked being made to take part in mass celebrations just because someone thinks I should.

  2. The Great Cleanup continues.

    Today I packed DD’s books, CDs, DVDs, university stuff, playstation stuff, my mother’s nice Noritake cutlery set (for 12), and DD’s knitting bags into seven of those nice small (30x40x45) boxes you can get at Budget.

    Tomorrow I have to extract the cartons (five, I think) containing my mum’s good dinner service, which is also to go to DD.

    Next step – working how to get it there.

    • jaycee@jaycee ‏@trulyjaycee 5s5 seconds ago Adelaide, South Australia

      @NickRossTech @chriskkenny One wonders what option Chris chooses when given advice on the brakes of his car by his mechanic…

  3. Joe6pack,

    Yes – what a pest she is! Although the china and cutlery have never visited Perth before.

  4. You could use the Bedford. 😀
    AS much respect as I have for old Bedford’s( great fantastic old things) driving one from Melbourne to Perth is not on my bucket list.

  5. This is good:

    Six remote towns in Queensland’s western shires are set to get a fibre broadband link after a decade-long campaign secured $16.5 million in federal, state and local funding.

    The project will see 600 kilometres of fibre optic cable rolled out in March to connect the Barcoo and Diamantina Shire towns of Stonehenge, Jundah, Windorah, Birdsville and Bedourie, allowing for metro-equivalent fixed broadband and 4G services.

    http://www.itnews.com.au/news/remote-queensland-towns-secure-fibre-broadband-funding-414027#ixzz3yHNyUnic

    Several rural Coalition MPs did support lobbying by rural councils/shires to pay towards getting the NBN rolled out but did not act to save the NBN as a whole.

  6. “… or Europe.”

    As far as I know there aren’t any wars in Europe. … Problems? Yes But look at what Australia has become under this regime? There shouldn’t be a celebration day today.

  7. As per usual, Kenny’s just being a pest. He’s out of his depth in the NBN issue, but he’s doing his best to dumb it down to the point where he can make his clumsy points. He’s the perfect exemplification of the “never argue with an idiot…” dictum. These tweets will give you an idea of why the exchange between him and Ross even happened:

    Nick Ross ‏@NickRossTech 21h21 hours ago

    Nick Ross Retweeted Lefty Of Labor

    He’s back! Missed you mate. See how long you can go before getting blocked 🙂

    Nick Ross ‏@NickRossTech 21h21 hours ago

    @AndrewIanWilson @LeftyTrollerz @chriskkenny I have made a huge mistake. Please don’t respond to Tom (lefty). Long term unresolvable issues

    Ross will give anyone a hearing, even someone he knows is just trolling. Lefty of Labor is an overt one, but Kenny’s doing the same thing in his own way. It’s a waste of Ross’s time and resources to respond to the likes of Kenny, who doesn’t pay any attention and clearly cheerleads for one side over another.

    Kenny’s tweet above doesn’t even make any sense. For a start, it relies on shaky assumptions (“one expensive sham over another expensive sham” – I mean, really…). For another, the “one begat the other” claim is meaningless. Especially considering Fraudband wasn’t even ‘begat’ in mid-2013. It was just an alternative option.

    And even now, when nobody’s disputing the article Ross wrote – not even Kenny – and when much of the stuff he predicted actually came to pass in the way he said it would, Kenny still thinks he shouldn’t have written it because, you know, politics.

    The most important point here is that Ross invited Kenny to point out any factual errors in the article, and thus far Kenny has declined. It’s almost as if Kenny thinks the ALP committed a political error in having a superior broadband model, and that the mere act of pointing that out is partisanship.

  8. gigilene

    Where would you rather live ? Australia with it’s problems or back in Europe with it’s massive problems.
    I cannot see a problem with celebrating the wonderful country that we live in

    • Quite right Joe. Explains the massive numbers of Germans, Brits, Irish, Scandanavians, French, Italians and Dutch pouring in to the country on a daily basis. Logjams at the airports are incredible. Bloody immigration officials can’t cope. Well we don’t want these cashed up riff raff selling their mediteranean villas and alpine chalets to the chinese and forcing up the prices of our 3 bed 2 bathroom brick veneers on 297 sq metres in the western suburbs. Decent liberal voter can’t get a foot in the door. Bastards all vote socialist anyway. Get back to where they come from I say.

  9. Yanis Varoufakis on Democracy:

    What do you see as the main threats to democracy today?

    The idea behind a representative democracy was to have the merchants represent the rest because the plebs weren’t considered up to the task of deciding important matters of state.

    The examples are countless. Just look at what happened to the Mossadeq government in Iran in the 1950s or the Allende government in Chile. Whenever the ballot box produces a result the establishment doesn’t like, the democratic process is either overturned or threatened with being overturned.

    So if you are asking who are and have always been the enemies of democracy, the answer is the economically powerful.

    http://www.redpepper.org.uk/yanis-varoufakis-we-need-a-new-movement-for-democracy-in-europe/

  10. joe6pack

    Australian Republic Day will be the best choice for a national day. Now all we have to do is ditch Queenie.

  11. I think quite a few ppl need reminding: b4 election MT said he was open to FTTP pending reports. My articles had him down as primary reader.— Nick Ross (@NickRossTech) January 26, 2016

    //platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

    Like Ian MacDonald, Waffles didn’t need to read the report.

    “I haven’t bothered to read the final report because I think it is partisan,” Senator MacDonald told the hearing.

  12. As it’s the day for awards I take no pleasure in announcing the the winner of the Dumbest Bogan medal.

    Jacqui Lambie makes a video, wearing what looks like a tea-cosy on her head, calling on us all the recite the ‘Oath of Allegiance’. The only problem is Australia doesn’t have an Oath of Allegiance. What she recites is the Citizenship Pledge, said by every new Australian during their citizenship ceremony. Does Lambie not realise that this pledge is said by refugees who are becoming Australian citizens? Even Muslim ones?

    https://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Citi/Citi/Australian-citizenship-pledge

  13. I wish I had joined in some of the great stuff in Adelaide today but circumstances and my own feeling of malaise prevented it. There was a good Survival Day celebration at Semaphore beach with Indigenous artists etc.

    I do think we need an Australia Day. Picking the day the British landed was probably not a good choice. We could just move it to the January 31st, a day of no particular note. Leave the 26th alone as a time for reflecting on Aboriginal experience and then have a holiday without controversy.

  14. Joe6pack
    I agree with you, we should have a day to celebrate as a nation. Late January, with the kids still on holidays, everyone still relaxed from Christmas, and in the best of summer is perfect.

  15. Speaking of moving the date for Australia Day – I didn’t know Rudd promised to do that, and then went back on his promise.

    In Opposition, Labor had promised Aboriginal people if it was elected it would change the date of Australia Day to one that is more inclusive. The promise was contained in the ALP’s 2007 National Platform, which guaranteed the implementation of the Roadmap For Reconciliation, a series of policies produced by the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation in 2000.

    Rudd won the election, but in the lead-up to Australia Day, the story broke of his promise. Rudd did what so many politicians before him have done – he lied, and then back-tracked.

    After denying the promise was even made (startling, given it was freely available to download from the ALP website) – Rudd tried to quell the media storm with this one-liner: “To our Indigenous leaders, and those who call for a change to our national day, let me say a simple, respectful, but straightforward no.”

    It was neither simple, nor respectful. It was a broken promise, but non-Aboriginal Australians were either uninterested, or quickly moved on. Every year since, the debate has still raged (and it raged for many, many years before as well)

    https://newmatilda.com/2016/01/26/change-the-date-read-this-if-you-want-to-know-why-australia-day-is-so-offensive-to-aboriginal-people/

  16. To be brutally honest, I want the date moved for selfish reasons. I want to celebrate without feeling guilty about Aboriginal experiences.

    Make January 26 National Sorry Day and then on the 31st have the Australia Day public holiday.

    • But I just betcha Mr.M. Friedman would like his dear ol’ mum to have the benefits of “in house” medical updates and “real-time” consultation via a superlative NBN.!…you bet you do you bet I am.

    • Yes, typical kleptocrats: happy to get their, and their family’s, snouts in every available trough (troughs don’t just contain money, y’know) but if the Great Unwashed want even a tiny share – can’t be done, too expensive, waste waste waste waste waste waste waste waste . . .

    • Pffft. I don’t think M Fredman Quotes is being straight up here. What he’s trying to do is lure Ross into a defence of NBN, in order to make Ross look like a spruiker for the ALP. That’s what the “Too Easy to spend others money” bit is all about. If Ross defends that, he’s into political territory, which is where some people want him.

      But Ross won’t do that. He’s clear about where his parameters lie.

  17. We already have a National Sorry Day, 26 May, so why move it? Moving it is likely to cause serious offence.

    That date was chosen because of it’s significance to indigenous Australians – it’s the annversary of the day the Bringing The Home report was tabled in parliament in 1997.

    A better date for a celebration of Australia would be 1 January, in recognition of the day Australia became a nation. It’s already a public holiday, so we wouldn’t be overloading the calendar.

  18. Here’s an idea. How about we do away with the Queen’s Birthday holiday (it’s not her birthday anyway) and replace it with a celebration of the day the High Court overturned the idea that Australia before settlement was terra nullius. 3 June 1992.

    We could combine all sorts of things to make it a real national celebration, including, I hope, becoming a republic.

  19. It is difficult to expect all ‘stakeholders’ , so to speak, to rejoice in the National Day when it coincides with dispossession and marginalisation of a very old and significant human society. Ditch the inbred so in Britain and celebrate that day, I say.

  20. No danger of one more “overloading” the calendar. Contrary to what the “business community” keep trying to tell us we are well down the list.

    COUNTRIES WITH THE MOST PUBLIC HOLIDAYS

    1. India Number of holidays: 21
    2. Colombia, Philippines Number of holidays: 18
    3. China, Hong Kong Number of holidays: 17
    4. Thailand, Turkey, Pakistan Number of holidays: 16
    5. Japan, Malaysia, Argentina, Lithuania, Vietnam, Sweden Number of holidays: 15
    6. Indonesia, Chile, Slovakia Number of holidays: 14
    7. South Korea, Austria, Belgium, Norway, Taiwan Number of holidays: 13
    8. Finland, Russia Number of holidays: 12
    9. Singapore, China, Canada, Italy, Denmark, France, UAE, Morocco, Czech Republic, Luxembourg Number of holidays: 11
    10. US, Portugal, Ukraine, Australia, New Zealand, Netherlands, Croatia, Romania
    http://www.gulfbusiness.com/articles/lifestyle/revealed-countries-with-the-most-number-of-public-holidays/

    • Something I’ve always found really weird is that in America, where religiosity reigns, Good Friday is not a public holiday.

      Probably the second holiest day of the Christian calendar . . .

  21. Leone,

    Yes!!!

    Not exactly beach weather, but hey, that might get people to focus more on the significance of the day.

  22. Looking at this OECD chart of countries working the longest hours, longer hours is not something we should aim for.

  23. Kaffeeklatscher,

    Contrary to what the “business community” keep trying to tell us

    What the ‘business community’ would love is a return to:

    – the 12 hour day
    – the six day working week
    – no paid annual holidays
    – no sick leave
    – no long service leave
    – no minimum working age
    – no retirement age
    – no compulsory superannuation except for the bosses
    – no OH&S laws
    – no anti-pollution / pro-environment laws

    etc.

    And, even if they got all that, they’d still complain.

    • In another age, when he was very funny, Patrick Cook explained that farming assistance was allocated according to which farmers complained most about the weather. The business community works on a similar agenda.

  24. Fiona

    The number of hours and holidays became a blood boiler for me during the 80s + early 90s. A time when , at least in Sandgropia, there was a constant whine about how lazy Australian workers were , the need to work harder and how we had way too many public holidays.

    I did several years in the construction industry ( including out bush) and Cold Stores during this period and saw how effing hard the work was and pay not so flash. At the cold stores a crew of three would be able to unload from pallets and fill a 20ft container with 27 kg cartons of frozen meat in about 15 minutes. Even with long hours we got nowhere near the average wage. So it was pretty galling to hear those wallies bang on about how lazy workers were after a day of that. Or after a 70 hour week in the summer heat of the Pilbara.

  25. Kaffeeklatscher,

    Thank you for reminding me.

    Another item for the list is:

    – bring back the lash (use at employer’s discretion)

    • Let’s just say it – they want to bring back slavery, abolish public schools and have kids start work at age 4 – for no pay, of course.

    • Leone,

      It’s the Natural Order, and what’s been happening for the last century or so is unnatural and therefore contrary to God’s Law.

      (*&^%$$$$$$$#@@!

      Ooops, sorry, started speaking in tongues just then.

    • Aaargh, dunno how that happened – a fine feline mind being taken over by a clodhopping speakin’ in tongues linedancer!

      *twitch*

      *groom v carefully*

      aaah, that’s better.

  26. Fiona

    Workhouses would be THE way to go for sorting out all those bludging ‘leaners’ getting welfare.

  27. ok. just move it to the 27th of January. And we need another public holiday in about August. There is a bit of a drought of them after the Queens Birthday weekend.

    I know, August 1st. Horses’ Birthday.

  28. DC Airport Washington can’t tell how much snow fell, they lost their snow measuring device (stiick??)

    The amount of snow that fell in the US capital over the weekend will remain a mystery after a device meant to measure snowfall was buried by the storm

    There was definitely a lot of snow in Washington, DC as a result of the blizzard that hit the eastern US over the weekend, but just how much fell in the capital may never really be known.

    The district’s official total was 17.8in (45.2cm), but according to the Washington Post, that number falls very short compared with other cities in the region. In New York, for example, more than 26in of snow was recorded.

    So what went wrong in Washington? The problem, it turns out, was too much snow.

    A small team of weather observers tasked with monitoring snowfall at Reagan national airport in Washington DC lost their snow-measuring device to the elements halfway through the blizzard.

    Due to bad weather, the team was forced to abandon their snow board – the improvised device they used to tally totals – when it became buried under a drift.

    National senior weather observer Mark Richards on Sunday stood by the accuracy of the reading, saying his team did the best it could under difficult conditions.

    “We would like it to be as accurate as possible,” Richards said. “But it’s an inexact science. Everyone has to understand that measuring snow in a blizzard is a tough thing to do.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jan/25/snow-idea-how-much-fell-in-washington-after-measuring-device-lost-under-snow?CMP=fb_us&utm_source=fark&utm_medium=website&utm_content=link

  29. Why is there a tiny little pocket just above the front pocket in most denim jeans? (Hint – The actual answer is over 100 years old)?
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .

    .
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    .
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    Give up?
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    .
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    .

    .
    .
    .
    (Answer) “It’s a watch pocket. Back in the 1800s, cowboys used to wear their watches on chains and kept them in their waistcoats. To keep them from getting broken, Levi’s introduced this small pocket where they could keep their watch.”
    http://www.perthnow.com.au/lifestyle/fashion/why-is-there-that-weird-little-pocket-in-my-jeans/news-story/7e4bf7ae85923e7ea6a55080d1303191?utm_source=fark&utm_medium=website&utm_content=link

  30. Jaeger

    Yaaay the little rover that could. My late father had cancer at the time and was pretty chuffed putting he and mum’s name on the DVDs NASA attached to the rovers. Felt an affinity with the rovers as , like him, they were not supposed to last that long but kept on keeping on anyway .

    DVD attached to rover on Mars.

  31. eJames,

    There’s still a tiny pocket in that location in any well-made men’s suiting even now. And try 200+ years ago.

    Yes, it’s the fob pocket.

    Rather charming that the same can still be found in jeans.

    • True dat Fiona, the old hippy in me didn’t realise I needed a watch and chain to match my Levis while hitching through EU and the USA in the 70’s. 🙂

  32. The names given to space explorers should be chosen with care. Regarding Beagle 2:

    The spacecraft was successfully deployed from the Mars Express on 19 December 2003 and was scheduled to land on the surface of Mars on 25 December; however, no contact was received at the expected time of landing on Mars, with the ESA declaring the mission lost in February 2004, after numerous attempts to contact the spacecraft were made.

    Beagle 2’s fate remained a mystery until January 2015, when it was located intact on the surface of Mars in a series of images from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter HiRISE camera. The images suggest that two of the spacecraft’s four solar panels failed to deploy, blocking the spacecraft’s communications antenna.

    many writers of letters to the editor in many papers pointed out the ill-advised naming of the probe to the effect that beagles NEVER do as they are commanded.

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