The left in Australia has been successful in capturing many of the nation’s cultural institutions, the ABC is a perfect example. It looked for a number of years that had also successfully hijacked the Australian of the Year Award which instead of going to somebody who was a leader in their profession or had been a pillar in their local community it instead went to somebody who was an advocate of social justice causes and used their position to pursue a politically correct social reegineering policy agenda.
This started in 2007 with climate change activist Tim Flannery winning the award and culminated in the years 2014-16 with the winners being Adam Goodes, Rosie Batty and David Morrison who all proved to be divisive figures in the community when the award is designed to be a celebration of achievement.
Morrison was easily the worst in that he won the award for a speech against sexism in the military, told us not to use the word guys and walked in high heels to demonstrate his support for feminism. It was his appointment where the award came under intense scrunity with some on the right claiming saving the award from the clutches of the left was a lost cause and the award should be abolished altogether.
It was clear after Morrison’s tenure as Australian of the Year that the National Australia Day Council responsible for the awards decided it would reform its selection criteria. In 2017 the winner was Alan Mackay-Sim a biomedical scientist who research into stem cells has assisted in the treatment of spinal cord injuries. People on both sides the political spectrum could unite behind and celebrate the achievements of Mackay-Sim.
In 2018 the Australian of the Year is Michelle Simmons, a quantum physicist. Her achievements include developing the world’s first transistor made from a single atom, the world’s thinnest wire and is currently working on building a quantum computer capable of solving problems in minutes.
For some on the right alarm bells did go off when they heard she was an advocate of women in stem, a pet feminist cause. During her acceptance speech she stated “Throughout my career, I found people often underestimate female scientists”.
However she is not in favor of quotas for women or as it is put feminizing the science industry as she previously attacked the lowering of standards in physics education in the HSE curriculum as a way of making it more appealing to girls.
Give that we have seen an unprecedented assault on Australia Day this year it was inevitable that Michelle Simmons would be asked questions related to the day and other issues to do with Australia’s national identity.
3AW’s Neil Mitchell decided to put her to put her views on these issues to the test. On Australia Day Simmons believes its a day we can be proud of “I think it’s a day two phenomenal cultures met for the first time” adding “Everybody is envious about how great Australia is and I think we should celebrate that”.
She is not in favor changing the Australia flag believing our ties to Britain are still of historical significance. She was not asked about the Republic but her respect for the nation’s British heritage would lead most to conclude she is favour of the current constitutional monarchy.
It was certainly refreshing to have an Australian of the Year who was proud of our nation and wished to talk it up, not tear it down and divide it. Her achievements were certainly worthy, the only thing the Australia Day Council needs to be careful of now is the award doesn’t become the Australian Scientist of the Year.
The redemption of the Australian of the Year might give some hope the we can win back our national institutions from the left and that the serve the purpose of uniting and celebrating the great nation of Australia.