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Adrian Cheok’s Order of Australia will now be discussed on a Senate level, as many are wondering how someone so abrasive can be honoured by the nation.
Last week, our public holiday to celebrate Queen Liz took an odd turn after Professor Adrian Cheok won the Order of Australia. Cheok is the educator colloquially known as that robot sexpert who also happened to be a candidate for the far-right party of Fraser Anning.
However, as one nonsense turn invariably deserves another, it seems the issue of who gets what award will be discussed in the next Senate estimates hearing.
Labor’s Kimberley Kitching noted to The Guardian that she’ll be elevating the issue, stating that “…obviously there is heavy scrutiny of nominees to ensure they are deserving recipients…in this day and age it’s necessary that scrutiny of nominees’ social media accounts is also undertaken. You would assume this would be the case, but in this example it is unclear. We’ll be seeking to have a full understanding of the processes that were undertaken at the next estimates.”
Cheok’s social media nonsense has long predated his laurel from Buckingham Palace, as he’s railed against Penny Wong, women in burqas in the run-up to the recent Federal election. However, the national chairman of the Order of Australia Association, Barry Nunn, told The Guardian that Cheok was a worthy winner of the prize, and asked Australians to have faith in the system. Cheok himself railed against the accusations, reiterating his support for freedom of speech, criticising the “leftist media” for “brainwashing” the populace, enabling a culture where one cannot exercise free speech “being labelled an incorrect term”.
Whether he earned it or not, or whether the system is broken or not – remains to be seen. What is clear, though, is our further dip into unreality, and the elevation of the estimates into the realm of “must see” television. So far the Senate estimates has graced us with absentminded militarism, outright racism and institutionalised misogyny. Now we’ll be discussing the merits of honouring a man who wants to put his appendage into a robot, whilst building a graduate school to teach the political tactics of Donald Trump.
Brave new/old world, indeed.