With an online petition circulating to put Steve Irwin on our currency, we’re knocking up our own plebiscite to see who you’d prefer to see.
Let me preface this by saying that Steve Irwin was a great Australian. His life’s work in keeping our wildlife, and our distinct timbre intact deserves to be honoured. Hence there’s a petition to put his face on our currency, to mark our respect of the Great White Crike. But, you could argue that he already has that, and you could also argue that there are a list as wide as this sunburnt land who stand before Irwin, if we’re to replace faces on our banknotes. But who?
Well, that’s the beauty of democracy. Using the plebiscite for good (because it’s not it’s fault), we’re wondering who you’d like to see on our currency. So, out of a list of names pre-chosen on a vote in which you have no choice but to participate – at great expense to our graphic “artist” (hello, Sam) – who would you like to see on the dollarydoos ahead of Steven Irwin?
a) Frederick Cossom “Fred” Hollows
Why: Because he’s Fred Hollows. The man who ventured into the problems faced by the Australians that “normal” Australians didn’t see (sorry) to perform much-needed treatment of trachoma, before venturing overseas to treat patients in Nepal, Vietnam and Eritrea. Hollows built lens factories in two of the aforementioned countries to produce Intraocular lenses (used to treat myopia and cataracts) at cost, ostensibly, giving the locals the gift of sight.
b) John O’Sullivan
Why: Who you ask? Well dingus, he invented the very means of being able to read this in your hand. The pioneer of Wi-Fi technology, Mr O’Sullivan is the reason we’re not bored on the toilet, or the train, or at a dinner party when we’re socially stranded. Imagine a world without Wi-Fi. *shudder*
c) Catherine Elise Blanchett
Why: Looking aside from her charity work, her support of local arts and her professional accolades, our Cate gets the nod for a very simple fact. She’s fucking good. Always. No matter the quality of role, director or movie, Cate shines brighter than any of ours that have walked the red carpet before her. Don’t believe me? Pick a bad Cate role. Who else would you choose in her place? Nicole? Soz. Hugh? Not so much. And even as it pains me to say it as I’m a Rush fanboy, even the great Geoffrey doesn’t approach her. Soz, Geoff. ILY but srz, hail Queen Cate.
d) Vincent Lingiari
Why: Pioneer of native land title, Mr Lingiari (as charted in the Paul Kelly opus From Little Things Big Things Grow) fought the colonial owners, starting the famous Wave Hill strike which lasted eight years and culminated in the transformative Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976. The act granted indigenous Australians freehold title to traditional lands in the Northern Territory and, significantly, the power to negotiate over mining and development on those lands, inclusive of compensation, and the famously symbolic pouring of sand through the hands of Mr Lingiari to return the land to the Gurindji people.
e) Paul Maurice Kelly
Why: For supplying the soundtrack of every divorce, meeting, breakup, betrayal, roadtrip, mistake, relocation, reminiscence, truth and harsh fact, PK has his foot planted on the central nerve of this land, as has chosen to do so in preferred anonymity, and with a heavy dose of self-flagellation and doubt. A true icon, and a modern day Banjo Patterson in the truest sense. Tell him that, and he’ll refute it. And that’s Australia.