Congratulations to the incoming Australian of the Year, former head of the Australian Army, David Morrison, for his work as an equality advocate. YourLifeChoices is so pleased to hear that David Morrison plans to continue the work of Rosie Batty and that, “while the scourge of domestic violence” cannot be dismantled in one year, the new AOTY will continue to support Ms Batty’s fine work from 2015. He also plans to continue to highlight the gender pay gap – 17.8 per cent – and work toward ways of reducing it. And last, but certainly not least, David Morrison is supporting the move towards an Australian republic, so that we can be, in his words, “free and fully independent”.
Senior Australian of the Year – Professor Gordian Fulde
Director of the Emergency Department at St. Vincent’s Hospital Sydney, Professor Fulde is a so-called ‘medical warrior’, campaigning against drug and alcohol-fuelled violence. For 40+ years Professor Fulde has, to quote an admirer, “understood the politics, the medicine and most of all, the people”. He insists upon the need to teach that actions have consequences and notes with pride that last New Year’s Eve was the first when there was no death or brain injury at his hospital, despite the massive numbers of people partying in downtown Sydney.
And let’s not forget the next generation – a massive woo hoo for the two indefatigable young men who created Orange Sky Laundry, 21-year-olds Nic Marchesi and Lucas Patchett. These amazing young men have given freshly laundered clothes, conversation and dignity to the (too) many homeless Australians who everyone else has conveniently ignored. Love your work Nic and Lucas – your vision, courage and audacity is simply inspirational.