January 5, 2007

Australians who made 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — girlyswot @ 10:58 am

The obligatory New Year lists have been published and while most are inane and some downright embarrassing the Age’s list of Australians who made 2006 has some surprising additions.

While the male category is topped and tailed by Steve Irwin and Shane Warne, which is about as predictable as you get, they sandwich the Socceroos team, Terry Hicks and Tim Flannery. What does this mean for Australian culture? Will soccer become the national game in the next 20 years. Australians love excelling at sport and there’s no bigger stage than the World Cup. I think none will rest until it’s in our hands.

Now Terry Hicks is a very interesting addition. Terry Hicks is the father of Guantanamo detainee David Hicks, who has been held illegally by the US government for five years without even being charged (let alone being tried and convicted). He’s been tortured and be kept in solitary confinement for much of that time. Big news around Christmas time was David Hicks’ inability to take a phone call from his family because he would be unable to cope with the aftermath.

The Age has been running a campaign to release Hicks and Terry has been given a lot of press. Seems like sentiment about Hicks’ detention is changing. For ages, he was seen as a terror suspect and therefore deserving of whatever he got. But now, his dad is number 3 Australian. Maybe there will be justice for David Hicks this year.

Number 3 is Tim Flannery, who now seems to be Australia’s favourite scientist. Climate Change was THE big issue for 2006, so it fits.

What about the women? The list is a lot less interesting than the men and it looks like the readers were clutching at straws. Let’s see, who’s a well-known Australian woman? I know, Kylie. She’s number 1. Then there’s Dame Elisabeth Murdoch, who let’s face it, is very very rich and does a lot of Good Works. Then we’ve got seven-time world number one surfer Layne Beachley, Julia Gillard at 4 (does this mean Federal Labor have got a shot at the next election?) and Cate Blanchett at number 5.


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