Another year and January 26 ticks over again. Australia’s very flawed national holiday continues to be a source of division and disunity. Among the manifold aspects of this is the announcement of various honours.
Last year, the secretive process led to the far-right ‘men’s rights activist’ Bettina Arndt being honoured. The previous year in the Queen’s Birthday honours there was the inclusion of Professor Adrian Cheok, a candidate for a far-right political party and sex-robot advocate. https://camestrosfelapton.wordpress.com/2020/01/27/australian-honours-system-is-very-broken/
This year the award for right-wing extremism is going to former tennis player Margaret Court who is due to receive Companion in the General Division of the Order of Australia (AC). Ostensibly the award is for her previous tennis career but she had already been honoured in 2007 for this with an Officer of the Order of Australia, as well as receiving an MBE in 1967. Instead, Court’s status in recent years has been due to her multitude of attacks on LGBTQI people in her role as a Pentecostal minister.
The pattern is clear: the Australian honours system is being exploited on an annual basis to promote far right extremism. The peak of Court’s tennis career was in the early 1960s, for which she has received multiple honours, her profile recently has been specifically for campaigning against marriage equality and for campaigning against the civil rights of LGBTQI+ people.