Friday, November 04, 2011

Opinion: The joy of Joyce

It is the time of year to consider who will be named Australian of The Year. Always dogged by controversy, the award has lost much of it's prestige over the years. At least it is more meaningful than the annual Father of The Year, which all too often is awarded to someone in public office - such as then Prime Minister John Howard and this year, Air Chief Marshal, Angus Houston, former Chief of the Defence Force. Other winners have been sports stars and television celebrities. I am sure all are excellent fathers but do have advantages most do not.
My nomination for Australian Of The Year would be Qantas CEO, Alan Joyce. Yes, he is Irish, but most of our Australian of The Year winners have been from overseas - such as the winner who upon receiving Australia's highest award announced, "This makes me a proud Yorkshire woman". Luckily she was white, so the mass media did not tell her, "if that's how you feel - go back home", as they would had she been from Iraq, Afghanistan or Sri Lanka.
For years Qantas has been dogged by industrial disputes. After the trade unions threatened Qantas and the travelling public with a further 12 months of stoppages, Joyce stood up to be counted.
His performance at today's union weighted parliamentary enquiry was a joy to behold, treating it with the disdain it deserved. He has shown more guts than Gillard ever has, and unlike Gillard, takes responsibility for his actions.
Of course there is no chance Joyce will be rewarded for his skill and courage. In our political climate and Gillard's fear of trade unions, this year's winner will receive their award and proudly announce, 'I'm alright Jack".