Jan 272009
 

“An ungracious winner is even less palatable than a sore loser”, so says Janet Albrechtsen, and she should know all about sore losers because she’s always behaved like one.
Was Mick Dodson ungracious in consulting his family before accepting the ‘Australian of the Year’ award? As a prominent indigenous activist, I’d say most definitely not. Just what import does the award hold anyway? More often than not, it’s politically oriented. Howard awarded Tim Flannery hoping to shut him up. Rudd doubtless awarded Dodson hoping for the same. People of principle don’t operate in that vein, and I regard Dodson as a principled man. I don’t regard politicians or journalists in the same vein.
Who really gives a fundamental about ‘Australian of the Year’ awards anyway? Nationalistic jingoism, just as the Order of Australia is so-called recognition of societies doers and triers. Awards are like grease. Applied where needed most to ensure quiet compliance and continued function. I don’t hold with them.