I wondered how long it would be before there was a backlash against the 2016 Australian of the Year, former Chief Lieutenant and Order of Australia, David Morrison. It hasn’t even been a month.

Not surprisingly, Newscorp columnist and radio presenter, Andrew Bolt, has labelled the selection of Morrison and his speech against sexism as “tribalism”.  Daily Telegraph columnist Miranda Devine, has also hit out at Morrison’s handling of the 2011 – 2013 sex scandals that rocked the Australian Defence Force. Devine condemns Morrison for not doing enough to support former soldiers who have Post – Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Some of the PTSD sufferers she’s referring to were caught up in the “Jedi” e – mail scandal which saw a young women having sex being videoed without her knowledge or consent and the content being e – mailed to other members of the ADF, although, not all opened the files.

This was the video that Morrison posted after the scandal:


From what I remember, the scandal wasn’t the only thing to happen, but was the one that broke the camel’s back.

It didn’t help that it came out that the speech writer was former Group Captain transwoman Cate Mcgregor wrote the speech. I was disgusted on Sunday when I read an attack on her in a Sunday paper. I won’t name names, but I found it incredibly disrespectful. Well, that’s taking it lightly.

 

I find it interesting that these allegations and accusations have come out AFTER Morrison retired from the ADF. Why not while Morrison was still in it? Why hasn’t Lambie come out publicly rather than hiding in the Senate, where her views can’t be challenged or legally prosecuted? I can’t help but see a pattern. The last three Australians of the Year: former Sydney Swans player, Adam Goodes, anti – domestic violence campaigner, Rosie Batty and now David Morrison, have all been crucified by some sections of society and the media after winning AOTY and bringing up issues they obviously feel passionate about. Are we at a point where we don’t want to address issues like racism, gender and sexuality discrimination and domestic violence? Are we becoming so fatigued that we (figuratively) block our ears so we can ignore it? One thing I will say about Morrison. When he was on Q and A on Monday night, a question was raised after a member of the audience asked about the declining rate of domestic violence, which was raised by former Labor member, Mark Latham. Morrison hit back. Listen to his response (cw: coarse language)

 

While I applaud Morrison’s passion, I do think facts play a role. Of course, every case is tragic, and regardless of what statistics may say, one life lost or ruined is one too many. However, I do believe that if we are going to deal with issues like domestic violence, if we don’t deal with facts and certain possible sociological factors that contribute to domestic violence, it’s not going to be dealt with effectively.

 

That aside, should Australia still have an “Australian of the Year” or has it lost meaning? We’ve had it for years, and, to my knowledge, it’s only been the past three when issues have been raised. I think it’s good to celebrate people’s achievements and aspirations to make Australia a better place for all. Has it become just another political football? Another thing that’s been “high – jacked by the Left”? I don’t think so, although, personally, I’ve got to say, Morrison could’ve kept the views on the Republic to himself for that day. Sure, he didn’t push it, and respected debate, but did it have to happen that day? I don’t think so. To be honest, what I think has happened the past couple of years is that people have finally heard what they don’t want to hear. People have been challenged to not be so apathetic toward issues such as violence and discrimination. People have finally been given a voice about issues that affect them (I think this is especially true in the aftermath of Adam Goodes being rewarded AOTY). Sure, things make us uncomfortable. But they are obviously discussions that need to be had. And the last three AOTY have opened up the discussions of these issues across the country. In my opinion, that isn’t a bad thing.

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