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. http://www.theland.com.au/story/3687480/gilbert-quits-over-native-veg/

    Native Veg stoush sees Josh Gilbert resign as NSW Young Farmers chairman
    By ALEX DRUCE
    Jan. 26, 2016, 1 p.m.

    PROMINENT agriculture and climate campaigner Josh Gilbert has resigned as NSW Young Farmers chairman after alleging his philosophical disagreement on land clearing reform earned him threats of personal attacks.

    Mr Gilbert, 24, Nabiac near Foster, announced on social media on Tuesday he would stand down immediately from the position he has held for three years, citing a long-running philosophical rift over the NSW Farmers’ lobbying for an overhaul of the NSW Biodiversity Act, which manages native vegetation clearing.

    Mr Gilbert alleged he had also been contacted by a high-ranking non-staff member from NSW Farmers who warned that opposing the reforms would result in personal attacks.

    The association has campaigned for many years on the issue and is currently negotiating with state government to develop a policy to repeal the current laws.

    But Mr Gilbert – who represented Australia at the COP21 talks at Paris in November – said he felt the legislation would have negative ramifications for agriculture.

    An old article for context

    Young farmers rewrite NSW Farmers climate change policy
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-07-16/nsw-young-farmers-put-climate-change-on-agenda/6624996

    • This lot think they can rule by circuses – media and political – alone.

      Bread? Let hoi polloi eat cake.

  2. Further to my reply to Duckie on the latest Danish racist legislation, racists are not even aware that they are being racist, it seems like it’s second nature to be racist. Thiis from The Angry Arab:

    “Controversial” means racist: “Denmark approves controversial refugee bill allowing police to seize asylum seekers’ cash and valuables”
    “The Danish parliament has approved a controversial law allowing authorities to seize refugees’ cash and valuables, and delay them being reunited with their families.
    Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen called the proposals the “most misunderstood bill in Denmark’s history” in the wake of international criticism.
    His minority government had been widely expected to win today’s vote with the backing of the opposition Social Democrats and anti-immigration Danish People’s Party.

    http://www.angryarab.blogspot.com.au/2016/01/controversial-means-racist-denmark.html

    And this:

    collective harassment
    From Daniel: “”collective harassment” is a peculiar racist trope; it speaks of a “collective [unreasoned] mind” as opposed to, you know, rational individidualist types who I guess prefer to more nobly rape one by one. See also: “wilding”, and “wolf pack” attributed to black youth in NYC.”

    http://angryarab.blogspot.ca/2016/01/collective-harassment.html

    • More xenophobia than racism, I think.

      Dronning Margrethe must be so disgusted when she thinks of the cowardice of this compared to her father’s walking the streets of Copenhagen in defiance of the invaders.

      There was a royal family!

    • I had a Danish professor ask me why Australia had so many overseas students.
      He expressed the opinion that if the student cohort was more than a third foreign, then you would lose your national identity. I think he was right, the question becomes “Do we want to dilute our cultural identity?”

    • If the Danes let the refugees keep their money the refugees might be able to organise airfares out of there.
      Pointlessly petty minded and self defeating policy

    • There is a great part of “our” (I came here 59 years ago, landing on 26 January) cultural identity that I would lose very happily.

      It is time people got to know, or reacquainted themselves with, Nino Culotta.

  3. So….does anyone else think Abbott is gathering support for a new ultra-right wing party where he can be in charge? There’s nothing else he can do. He is not interested in a diplomatic post (seriously, can you imagine Abbot as a diplomat), there have been no job offers since he was dethroned, he is reduced to making speeches to bottom-feeder groups in the US to make a bit of extra cash, so it’s parliament or nothing. The financial incentive of being a party leader must be so very tempting.

    He has the hench-goons – Andrews, Abetz, Christensen, Bernardi and more. He has a meeting with Rupert lined up, no doubt hoping for his support. All he needs now is to be selected to run again in Warringah and it’s on. The right wingers on the northern beaches who have sent him to Canberra election after election will vote for him again without a moment’s hesitation.

    Or am I just being fanciful?

  4. On Tony Abbott speaking to a US Christian group: where does the mainstream media get off dictating who a politician can speak too?

    — Chris Uhlmann (@CUhlmann) January 26, 2016

    It doesn’t take much to satisfy the retarded American evangelicals.

  5. “I know what you are going through and I can feel your pain,” Malcolm Turnbull told Tony ­Abbott in compassionate mode when they met at Turnbull’s ­Canberra flat last November

    .
    Compassionate ? Goodness no.Turnbull having fun with Abbott. A nice little reminder of the tables being turned.

    • On that particular point, I wish Bill Shorten would stop trying witticisms: that just is not his metier.

    • Mr Shorten is no better and no worse than most politicians (Keating and Ming have to be regarded as sports).

      However, he has to contend with a partisan msm, so no matter what he says he will never come across as looking good.

  6. I like the Australia where you could realistically expect the effort was rewarded, I am not keen on the Australia which promotes rent seeking and patronage.
    The fact that we have a Liberal government could be the result of liberal party preference for conservative migrants including former nazis and Ustashi

    Yes I used to be pleased that the Protestant catholic divide was buried until resurrected by ‘you know who’
    I am ashamed of our crappy treatment of aboriginal Australians which has been reinforced by the Intervention and roll out of BASIX card around Australia

  7. I see that the Flat Earhers are gaining momentum in the USA. I read a bit of someone trying to explain it, some American rapper. Maybe the one they are trying to keep out of Australia. (The premise of which I have problems with. His songs lyrics are awful towards women, but that is a very slippery slope.)

    Anyway, no-one has explained what you do when you get to the edge. Fall off, I presume.

  8. Sorry but I had to comment on the Danish refugee story.
    Speaking as someone who actually has family and friends in Denmark (and Sweden) this story is a total beat-up.
    Currently Danish citizens are required to pretty much exhaust their savings before they are eligible for any govt. benefit.
    The new legislation is far from discriminatory and its starting to piss me off that people want to so loosely throw around terms like racism. Not to mention the utterly offensive and lazy comparison to Nazis etc.
    These migrants are being treated in the exact same way as all Danish citizens are treated.
    Is it fair that these mainly economic refugees are given preferential treatment over born and bred Danes?
    Danes who have probably contributed for years via high taxes to their often lauded generous welfare state.
    Because thats what it appears some people are advocating for.
    Thats not to say I think that this long standing policy is a good one. I fail to see how making anyone who has fallen on hard times give up almost all their probably meagre wealth is helpful?
    However to call this policy racist is just crap.
    These new arrivals are being treated in the exact same way as every other person in Denmark.
    Infact I’d suggest racism would more appropriately be used to describe a situation some apparently want where Danish citizens are treated less fairly then these new arrivals.
    I readily accept that the amount of new arrivals who have fled their country then passed through several other countries before arriving in Denmark who would actually have large amounts of cash let alone any assets would probably be neglible but there are no doubt some in Denmark who dont even have the wealth of some of these migrants and it would surely be plainly wrong for them to be treated less fairly in their own country then newcomers into the country.
    As someone who proudly and loudly describes themself as on the left/progressive side of politics I have to say that the tendency of some on the left to beat up such a non story and ridiculously label the Danish govt. and people who overwhelmingly support this policy racist, fascist or Nazis is worrying as it does nothing but get everyday people offside and only serve to push people towards actual racist and extreme right wing parties as we are now witnessing throughout Europe and in particular a country like Sweden.
    I have and will always call out racism when I see it but IMO no rational person who actually understands this policy or how the system in Denmark currently works for all Danish citizens could describe it as racism.
    Its becoming all too fashionable for some on the left to manufacture outrage over any and all issue such as this policy without any knowledge or understanding of the facts. Like the fact this policy is already in place in other European countries (Switzerland as an example)
    Real racism is an issue so lets not dilute the word by wrongly and flippantly throwing it around when its not warranted like when privileged multi millionaire celebrities fail to get an Oscar nomination (FMD!!!)
    Fortunately I havent needed to receive govt. payments for nearly 20 years but its my understanding that Centrelink take into account peoples assets etc when determining eligibility for benefits in Australia. You cannot just rock up to Centrelink with thousands of dollars in your bank account and be given assistance.
    Sorry if this is coming across as a rant but Im not gonna sit back and read ill informed and just plain wrong comments about the Danish situation (mainly on other sites i might add) when very few countries in the world have the track record of generosity that Denmark has.
    Cheers.

    • I agree with you. When the Danish Minister explained the policy it made sense. We also make people exhaust their savings before they can get the dole. I think it s a damaging policy in the long term but it applies to everyone. We even sent a bill to the refugees for their stay here, in the tensa of thousands of dollars.

    • i wonder if the ‘seizing’ is taking the cash/valuables’ giving a receipt and holding it in account, from which expenses are deducted, if required.

      Again the MSM are long on outrage, short on facts. If I had the facts I could come to a more solid conclusion.

    • These migrants are being treated in the exact same way as all Danish citizens are treated.
      Is it fair that these mainly economic refugees are given preferential treatment over born and bred Danes?

      I doubt that the migrants are treated “in the exact same way” as the citizens apart from handing over their assets. The citizens overall have so many other benefits that the migrants can’t have away from their home, their family, their friends, their business, their jobs, etc. Even if they’re economic ones. They are certainly not given “preferential treatment” over the Danes. Just ask a Dane if he/she’d like to be a migrant.

  9. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Mark Kenny tells us how Turnbull’s moderate image is beginning to fray.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/turnbulls-moderate-vision-begins-to-fray-20160127-gmezdn.html
    Here we go. Sydney house prices have peaked and are now dropping. Is it a hiss from the bubble?
    http://www.domain.com.au/news/sydney-house-prices-drop-3-per-cent-domain-group-20160127-gmd7pl/
    But Stephen Koukoulas tells us that waiting for the “crash” has cost Australians thousands.
    http://thekouk.com/blog/waiting-for-a-property-price-crash-cost-aussies-thousands.html
    Yet where we are it’s like a desert! Our dam has empties for the first time since we’ve been here.
    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/weather/severe-thunderstorms-to-cap-citys-wettest-january-in-28-years-20160126-gmeonz.html
    Same sex marriage reform is threatening Coalition unity. And serve them right!
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/samesex-marriage-threatens-coalition-unity-20160127-gmf7j1.html
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/bizarre-and-extraordinary-coalition-tensions-flare-over-samesex-marriage-20160126-gmeomf.html
    “View from the Street” has its say about the plebiscite. He also farewells Clive Palmer with a slow clap.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/view-from-the-street/view-from-the-street-so-we-dont-need-that-marriage-plebiscite-after-all-then-20160127-gmf5uk.html
    Is ATAR broken as the sole university entrance criterion?
    http://www.smh.com.au/national/education/lets-end-the-atar-says-unsw-vc-ian-jacobs-20160127-gmerue.html
    For once I agree with Fox News!
    http://www.smh.com.au/world/us-election/donald-trump-pulls-out-of-republican-debate-in-iowa-20160127-gmew36.html
    Bob Ellis reckons it’s a game changer for Trump.
    http://www.ellistabletalk.com/2016/01/27/game-changer-2/

  10. Section 2 . . .

    The interview poor Jamie Briggs gave to my local rag gets some visibility in the MSM.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/jamie-briggs-says-he-paid-heavy-price-for-hong-kong-incident-20160127-gmfa0m.html
    The right wing rump is playing up. Now it’s Andrews off to the US to hang out with some conservative defence mob.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/kevin-andrews-skips-parliament-to-address-conservative-lobby-group-in-washington-on-defence-20160127-gmeyg6.html
    Abbott’s speaking engagements require our scrutiny and concern.
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jan/27/tony-abbotts-speaking-engagements-deserve-our-scrutiny-and-our-concern
    Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott the fundamentalist preacher.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/tony-abbott-fundamentalist-preacher,8613
    The man who beat Centrelink’s system.
    http://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/public-service/this-man-beat-centrelinks-system-and-he-says-you-can-too-20160127-gmet74.html
    Youth smoking rates are at a record low. Good!
    http://thenewdaily.com.au/life/2016/01/28/youth-smoking-rates-record-low/
    The Anglican church is now under scrutiny at the Royal Commission.
    http://www.themercury.com.au/news/scales-of-justice/hobart-inquiry-to-examine-culture-of-sexual-abuse-against-boys/news-story/a7179cc623a907aca29200eab299fb04
    Michelle Grattan tells Morrison he cannot short change us by not having a taxation green paper.
    https://theconversation.com/why-we-need-a-taxation-green-paper-53743
    Meanwhile Tony Wright really takes the piss out of Abetz and his rump compatriots. The ridicule is starting.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/eric-abetz-proposes-an-insurgency-on-behalf-of-the-flatearthers-20160127-gmeyo9.html
    Josephine Tovey rightly hops into Ted Cruz over his ridiculous claim about our gun laws and rape.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/ted-cruz-stop-using-australian-rape-victims-to-get-yourself-elected-20160126-gmelkj.html

  11. Section 3 . . . with Cartoon Corner

    Now Clive Palmer’s nephew is in the sights of the Queensland Nickel administrator.
    http://www.smh.com.au/business/mining-and-resources/clive-palmers-nephew-in-sights-of-queensland-nickel-administrators-20160127-gmerr9.html
    How well are new refugees setting into Australia?
    http://www.theage.com.au/nsw/how-well-are-new-refugees-settling-into-australia-20160127-gmes83.html
    The AMA says that public hospital funding will be the biggest problem for state governments.
    http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/jan/28/public-hospitals-biggest-financial-challenge-state-governments
    Elizabeth Farrelly asks whether our national identity is a matter for pride or shame.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/is-our-australian-identity-a-matter-for-pride-or-shame-20160127-gmesvw.html
    Apple’s clever accounting could conjure up a zero Australian tax bill for 2016. Surely there are ways that we can counter this. This arrogant mob needs to be taken down a peg or two.
    http://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/apples-clever-accounting-could-conjure-up-a-zero-tax-bill-in-2016-20160127-gmeub5.html
    Heath Aston reckons that Apple’s disclosure could be a defining moment for it and its fellow rorters.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/apple-tax-disclosure-2016-will-be-a-defining-moment-for-ending-the-multinational-tax-rort-20160126-gmep7y.html
    Ron Tandberg and the right wing rump at work. Nice.

    Alan Moir with an unwelcome reminder for Turnbull.

    Great work from Pat Campbell on the rump and the plebiscite.

    Roy in the Herald Sun asks the obvious question.
    http://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/27caca85bfe6e05e9c39baeb481bd178?width=1024&api_key=zw4msefggf9wdvqswdfuqnr5

  12. ATAR scores are a political construct where
    – Medicine and Law always have the highest ATARs
    – entrants to Vet Science always exceed the ATAR for Medicine
    – In the old days when you could enter Law at Melbourne Uni from high school half the entrants did not achieve ATAR

    Except for those outliers the ATAR system worked well, giving school leavers a good indication of where they were likely to be successful at gaining university entrance and allowing universities to quickly select students.

    The alternative is to interview prospective students which is time consuming. What happens if all the students you interview get places at a more prestigious institution? How can you assure that the selection interviews are looking for the same characteristics? How much time do you need to set aside to conduct interviews?

  13. These flat earth people are deadly serious.

    Did you know that the flat earth is surrounded by an ice wall (the coastline of Antarctica) 150 feet high that hold the oceans in place and stops us falling over the edge? What’s beyond the ice wall? No-one knows.

    Did you know the sun moves in circles around the North Pole?

    Did you know all those images taken from space are just part of a gigantic conspiracy theory? Flat earthers don’t accept photos as proof the earth is round, they say photos are too easily faked or manipulated. They know the earth is flat because they say it is.

    Flat earthers even have their won terminology. Earth doesn’t have an atmosphere, it has an atmoplane
    https://wiki.tfes.org/Frequently_Asked_Questions

    It’s amazing, the hallucinations you have when you snort enough cocaine.

    • They probably think the internet is powered by pixie dust and run by elves inside the computer.

  14. Oh no!

    Christopher Pyne turns TV host with his own Sky News show

    The Industry, Innovation and Science Minister will front the new weekly program on Sky alongside Labor immigration spokesman Richard Marles. Its title: Pyne and Marles.
    Unlike other such programs, the show will be a journalist-free zone with no questions from pesky hacks. In other words: every politician’s dream come true

    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/christopher-pyne-turns-tv-host-with-his-own-sky-news-show-20160127-gmfkeq.html

  15. It’s amazing the gulf between the expectations of the sexes. For instance; arriving back home safe and sound in the Bedford truck with the horses on board after a two hour trip there and back to Echunga, I turned off the motor, breathed a sigh of relief and casually said ;

    “Home again, safe and sound.”

    “Why shouldn’t we be?” the Oh, laughed.

    “Oh well..There could be a number of things…but here we are…”

    “Of course we are..why..what did you expect to happen?..of course we’re home safe and sound”

    What-did-I-expect-to-happen…I didn’t EXPECT anything to happen, but that doesn’t exclude the unexpected to happen!..And that’s just it..the unexpected is always the thing!…Murphy’s Law and all that..

    “Well, that accident we passed on the way over….they didn’t expect THAT to happen, did they?..yet it did!”

    “Oh, that’s different”.. comes with dismissal wave of hand.

    How’s is it different?… I’m asking you…Why are all the most diligent appraisals and reasons given by us blokes brushed aside with the dismissal of : “Oh, that’s different” ?…or : “You always say that!”…always..always!?…But it’s at that point where the experienced, discerning male know to draw the line…any further incursion beyond that “Rubicon Line” could be seen as a declared war..and by jingo, in the (normal) armory of domestic bliss, one gender has the Howitzer !

    KABOOM!

    E=Mc2…: Emergency = Mechanical Entropy x 2.

    What could go wrong…A 1967 Bedford, carrying two big-f#cker Warmbloods kicking shit out of the “upholstery” on a two hour trip over the hills, through the towns and roadworks on a medium to hot day with all that crazy traffic, driven by a pensioner who left his glasses home and his knee playing up something shocking…what could go wrong?

  16. Christopher Pyne turns TV host with his own Sky News show…

    So a rebirth of a show with “Ian-Feathers- Fairweather and Willsy “…Oh wow!

    • Bill Shorten –
      “I’m proud to announce that this plan means a Shorten Labor Government would deliver the Gonski reforms on-time and in-full for our kids – reversing the Turnbull Government’s cuts”

  17. billie

    quite a lovely pic of Abetz

    Some suggestions by two ‘connected’ Tasmanian commenters next door last night that Abetz has some ‘personal issues’ at the moment.

  18. Excellent choice by the ALP in pre-selecting Anne Aly in Cowan.
    Have always been impressed when I’ve seen or heard her in the media.
    That useless nobody Luke Simpkins should probably start making plans for a life outside of parliament.

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