To-day, January 26, is Australia Day - Australia's national day of celebration (that's the settler attitude) or the day to mark survival (that's the Aboriginal point of view). The Governor-General publishes a list of Australian honours. It is my Australia Day ritual to peruse the lists nodding in agreement with some (not a lot) and making snarky remarks to myself about others (quite a few). The snarky remarks go along the lines of - well, he/she has got it for a job in which they were well remunerated; so-and-so got this level of honour while so-and-so did similar activities and only got a lower level of honour.
One thing is always clear to me, though, and that is that Honours Lists are status-ridden. The highest level honours are few, seldom given to women or at least not more than one woman per list, and it is clear that one has to have reached a certain position - usually based on economic position - to be in the running. Although it is possible to work your way up from one level to another. This is noted in the lists with the biographies clearly delineating what the recipient has done since his/her last and lower honour.
For you, dear Networkers, I have singled out a few which are a great fit for the ethos of The Network. I have excerpted their listings and have placed them in the document below so you can read them in greater detail. Those that capture my attention are as follows:
- David Rhett BUTLER - Firstly, don't you love the name, Rhett Butler. At least one parent must have loved Gone with the Wind. And, did he marry someone called Vivian and have a daughter called Scarlett? That's not why he made The Network Honours List. No. It is because he is the chair and founder of Skyjuice Foundation. As Networkers realise, water is a major priority on The Network and so I regard this not only as a gong for David Butler but for water as well.
- Bryan Andrew KEON-COHEN QC. Networkers will realise that the First Nations have the highest priority on The Network. This blog is concerned for recognition and relationships with the First Peoples of all parts of the globe. This, however, is an Australian blog and The Network's primary concern is with the First Nations of Australia. Bryan Keon-Cohen's work for which he is honoured makes it perfectly clear that his priority is the same as The Network's priority.
- Jon Stephenson - like myself an old Townvillean - has gone from the midst of us. Please note, Networkers. If you wish to nominate someone, please don't wait until they are on their last legs. Jon's achievements are amazing. For my money this man should have been nominated years before and received no less than our highest honour. Neither of these things have occurred. This man's achievements are many and unique. We ought to be reading about him in schools and libraries across the country. Is there a Hall of Fame somewhere for Jon Stephenson?
- Lyn Pengilly of Parkes and Helen Poulos of Bondi Junction touch my heart strings. The Network emphasises and tries to live and breathe community and communitarianism. Lyn and Helen display this in their daily lives and have been honoured for it - one in regional Australia, the other in the very centre of Australia's major city. They are unpaid. They have done the most basic of volunteer jobs. Without Lyn and Helen and people like them across this nation and across the world our human community would be poverty stricken in mind, body, and spirit. They have turned their hands to what needs doing. They have provided the grease for the wheels of their communities.
Read more about these wonderful people here: