Steve Waugh = Australian of the Year.
RECENTLY retired Test captain Steve Waugh was today named Australian of the Year for 2004.
Prime Minister John Howard made the announcement in Canberra tonight, but Waugh was in Perth playing cricket for NSW in the Pura Cup match against Western Australia. In a video statement from Perth, Waugh apologised for not being at the event and said he was humbled and honoured to win.
"Simply, thank you for the honour," he said.
Great player. Good captain. Probably an all around nice guy. But do we think that there's any danger that this award might actually go to somebody who has done something important in the community one of these years?
Others nominated for the Australian of the Year award were Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin, burns expert Dr Fiona Wood, medical researcher Judith Whitworth, Aboriginal Legal Service lawyer Patricia Miller, campaigner against child abuse Bernadette McMenamin, businessman and community leader Michael Kent, and children's author Mem Fox.
Now Steve Irwin, irritating TV guy and serial baby dangler might not be the best replacement if the winner isn't able to fulfill his duties but what's wrong with the rest of them? Medical researcher Judith Whitworth and burns expert Dr Fiona Wood may never have hit a hundred in the backyard at mums let alone one at the SCG but surely their contributions are more important in the long term? It's no wonder people actually pay credit to that watery bint Germaine Greer when she writes articles sledging us for being a nation of sports obsessed bogans. You'd almost start to agree after seeing Taylor, Freeman, Rafter and now Waugh winning this in the last few years.
On the upside you should probably have money on Ricky Ponting winning the thing in 2008 right now.
Meanwhile I notice my nomination happens to have been misplaced again. You'll get it right next year won't you?