2007 Douglas Wilkie Medal

The 2007 Douglas Wilkie Medal was awarded to…

Barry Jones, AO

Dr Jones, former politician, social activist, author, teacher, quiz champion and all-round polymath has won the coveted medal. His remarks made on the ABC TV program ‘The Einstein factor‘ lead to his nomination. He admitted to taking books to read during Aussie Rules Football matches.

Australian politicians often associate themselves with sporting codes in order to popularise themselves with the masses. But in this event, Mr Jones admitted on national TV that like his Labor colleague, former NSW premier Bob Carr, he preferred other recreational pursuits during his ‘parliamentary duty’. It is with this frank admission, and strong support from members that Barry Jones won the 2007 Douglas Wilkie Medal.
The initial nomination, came from founding secretary Keith Dunstan. “Barry has done a number of wonderful things, it’s surprising we haven’t given it to him before.” Keith went on to remark “Barry’s the first politician to win it since 1967 when Harold Holt confessed he’d never been to an ‘ocker rules’ footy match. We had to warn Barry about swimming because Mr Holt had an unfortunate accident two months after his presentation.”

At the presentation, Barry kept good form avoiding the dreaded ‘f’ topic, extolling the virtues of a new translation of Tolstoy’s ‘War and Peace’. At 1296 pages, it’s the sort of tome one could make last an entire footy season.

    ABC TV offer a download of ‘The Einstein Factor’ episode where Mr Jones’ remarks were made. Get it here (episode 27)

In recognition of other noble souls who came close, they will be honoured with runner up status. They are:

  • David Hicks – For doing nothing for football in the last five years.
  • Ben Cousins – An Aussie rules star that has concentrated his life on other things.
  • David Stratton – For his services to other forms of drama (and melodrama)
  • Emma Macdonald – For her services in encouraging an AFL stronghold in Canberra, through her columns in The Canberra Times
  • Greg Hill – For his insightful blog into bad behaviours of Aussie Rules players and their respective employers.
  • A big thank you to all contributors and commentators.

    39 thoughts on “2007 Douglas Wilkie Medal

    1. May I suggest one of my three cats, who in their short lifespans have done absolutely nothing for football. I am also fairly confident that they have no plans, in the near or distant future, to undertake any activity that is in any way football related.

    2. Eddie McGuire. If ever there was a man committed to turning people from the fine game, or the game of fines, twas him.

    3. I nominate myself for having to put up with at workplaces, seemingly normal people who can only talk in a strange language they call “Footy Talk” and “Footy Tipping Comps”. Then at home when friends visit they want to turn on the television at MY house to watch the game – I mean why did they even bother to visit !!!!. I was a proud member of the A.F.L. last time and greatful to become a member again.

    4. I would like to nominate David Hicks for the Douglas Wilkie medal.

    5. I would like to nominate the entire Richmond Football Club for not only forgetting how to play the game, sacking their only star player of the year, but also urging their fans to either start following soccer or the Melbourne Storm (NRL).

    6. What is your peoples problem here?

      I have no problem with those who don’t like football, but to make a club thats anti-football, well Come on you guys are not serious are you?

      Can’t you just let people enjoy footy without you guys having a sook about ‘oh they talk about it in the office’ – how dare people socialise in the workplace and make friendships based on something they like. ‘I don’t want my little boy playing sport’ (mind you there is an obesity epidemic happening at the moment and he probably should) or my favorite ‘AFL players are a bad influence’ – Yes a small minority are but hey people in things like the rock music scene or the finacal sector aren’t on the powder?

      Don’t you think football might give some people a little happiness in their lives but you guys think of nothing better to do then burn the ball. You people need a football kicked in your head then you’ll get some real perspective on life.’

      CEO – PFL – Pro Football League

    7. Jeremy Hayes for referring to ‘Aussie Rules’ as ‘ROCKBUN’ a game that is played by ‘ROCK-APES’ for the past 20 years. Also for religiously spending Grand Final day in his boat at sea, in a deliberate effort to distance himself from any details of the ‘biggest game of the year’.
      Rock Bun – Bun of Rock

    8. I would also like to nominate myself, and I have the email threads to prove my contempt for “aussie rules”. Nothing quite as fun as being stuck in traffic or on a train with the barbarians before or after a match.

    9. I would like to nominate Graham Geraghy, GAA footballer and Co. Meath thug – who as a result of a ‘fair go’ tackle was knocked unconcious in the most recent Intenational Rules fiasco. As a result the GAA annouced they werent going to play anymore, thus reducing the influence of the AFL on Irish sporting life and the GAA. I urge not underestimate the importance of this. It is essential that Aussie Rules be geographically contained, it is not beyond the realms of possibility that it could being to grow on a limited basis in Ireland and then infect the rest of Europe. Dear God, it could easily become an international phenonmenon, just imagine an Aussie Rules World Cup every four years.

    10. I have heard that Jack Dunstan was at the last AFL Grand Final. Is this correct?

      I’m afraid not mate, I was holidaying in Queensland – It was the only way to escape that dreaded ‘one day in September’

    11. How about Peter Wilkins? He has justified the ABC’s use of the term “News, Sport, Weather” for that nightly programme at 7.00pm on Channel 2, rather than what it’s correct title should have been under Angela Pippos. News, Weather, AFL Propaganda.

    12. Sorry Jack must have heard wrong – well done for holidaying in Queensland during that dreaded “one day in September”. I hope you were far north, as the curse has also infected Brisbane nowdays. Keep up the good work – will be purchasing badges soon.

    13. I nominate myself for surviving the CULT . I’m still in long term therapy after being grabbed by a group of cult busters. During my first year I was strapped in a frame and forced to watch TV as they convinced me that the little flickering screen was not invented to transmit football and the lives of those who play it. They went too far when they insisted newspapers informed readers about the world and what’s happening in it – I thought globe breaking news was about skinned knee’s and being drunk at nightclubs. My biggest triumph, I now believe an oblong leather ball is just an air bladder and not a symbol of all existance. I’m starting my next level of therapy soon, standing in a group of people without matching scarfs and beanies. I think I will be ok…… only…..I still hear the “Fosters” jingle in my head and have dreams of drowning in tomatoe sauce and hot meat pie filling.

    14. In reply to the CEO – PFL – Pro Football League.

      Deep in Aussie Rules……….NO-ONE CAN HEAR YOU SCREAM.

      Sincerley Lincoln Echo 8

    15. How about the Melbourne Victory for raising the profile of football, and making AFL become inferior during the summer? No one thought a football team in AFL territory will work, but more and more people have ‘come out of the football closet’

    16. I also nominate myself. Last year I moved to China in late August to avoid everything football in September, and stayed for 6 months so also avoid any follow-up. Back in Aus I always volunteer to work on Saturday afternoons/evenings so no TV, radio on a non-football station and workmates in the same situation. I am due to go back to China in October this year so might go a bit earlier to again avoid September. I also don’t like beer and pies.

    17. I’d like to vote for myself, for all the pain and suffering I had to endure from the mid 50’s to the mid 60’s when I was dragged along with my father, mother, their two friends and their son to the good old footy. Parents being mad St.Kilda fans we travelled far and wide, only to watch people behaving badly and most of the inebriated enjoying the game, with a few punch ups in between, and one heart attack, the guy turned blue !!!! They are my fondest memories of the game!!! Thank goodness for the Anti-Football League, and I’m glad it’s back!!!

      Regards Val.

    18. Love the Ben Cousins nomination. It’s ironic to think that if footy is the opium of the masses (and it is) that a nation full of opium addicts would so judgemental about Ben’s drug use.

    19. I would like to nominate the ABC television film critic David Stratton for the 2007 Wilkie Medal. I well remember last year when David announced on live national television that he had no interest in football codes of any kind and could think of better ways to spend his time. Naturally, he was pooh-poohed by his co-presenter and fellow critic, Margaret Pomerantz, and I have no doubt spoken to severely by ABC bias and ratings analysts afterwards. But this man’s courageous and heartfelt declaration is worthy of encouragement and our support. Besides, going to the movies is one sure way of escaping the footy brouhaha at this time of year and now we know we have leadership from our best film critics as well. While it seems that David may have been prevented from making any more anti-football declarations there has been no public recanting on his part. I do hope that he hasn’t been, ahem, “counselled” or otherwise tortured as a consequence of his beliefs.

      I would like to nominate David Stratton for the Wilkie Medal for 2007.

      David Dunstan

    20. I would like to nominate my mother, for teaching me as a child that the real name for football was ‘footbrawl’. I used to correct people whenever they got the name wrong…

    21. With all due humility… I would like to nominate myself! I have since the 1960s had to contend with a multitude of enquirers who would ask “Are you THE Douglas Wilkie? Surely I thought you would be older!” To which I would always have to reply “No, sorry, I am THE OTHER Douglas Wilkie!” Nevertheless, I have lived up to my namesake’s reputation and with true AFL un-enthusiasm, I have NEVER, EVER, been to a football match.

    22. If David Stratton did criticise football on ABC Television then I am with David Dunstan.
      This is indeed a very brave move, given the football culture within the National Broadcaster. My nomination goes to David Stratton.

    23. In keeping with the above, I’d like to nominate myself too. I’ve been publishing an invective-filled and wildly-popular AFL player hate blog for two and half years (as linked by Crikey and others).


      All that criminality and indecency painstakingly and lovingly collated and dissected across nearly 100 articles. Mockery, ridicule and scorn are my weapons. Drug-addled overpaid thugs and their handlers and mouth-breathing fans are my targets. The threat of defamation and contempt of court proceedings my only constraint.

      Highlights include: Australia’s first betting market for AFL player court appearances; an online store specialising in protection from AFL players; publishing AFL Player Threat Index updates; and the Hall of Shame for worst offenders.

      Winning this prestigious award will propel me to greater heights of moral outrage and self-righteous indignation.

    24. I would also like to nominate David Stratton for the 2007 Wilkie Medal. He would be just perfect. He sure he would wear his medal every week on national TV.

    25. I would like to nominate Sam Newman and the entire panel of hosts on The Footy Show, as anyone who can behave in that fashion does nothing for anything!

    26. I’m going to say Timothey Peut. He hasn’t done anything for any type of sport let alone football. Only thing football related he did was try to get it not compolsary at my school

    27. I’d like to nominate Andrew Johns for his recent drug revelations. He has certainly done little positive for the sport.

    28. I nominate our Tasmanian Premier Paul Lennon for spending $15 million dollars to sponsor the hawthorn football club while our Department of health and Human Services is chronically underfunded. He answered criticisms in parliament by saying he dared those criticising to say they were against football displaying to all wiht a capacity for reason and critical thought what selfrighteous, selfish, foul vermin football supporters are.

    29. I want to nominate myself.

      I’ve never been to a footbrawl match of any sort and I was one of the first to sign up for the original AFL (and I’ve signed up here, of course!)

      I don’t know who the teams are, which particular neanderthal’s knee is presently trashed, and I don’t know who won any of the games that have ever been played, let alone who won any Grand Finals.

      And who the hell was Cazaly?

      I have spent an entire lifetine either studiously ignoring or taking the piss out of footbrawl.

      Some years ago, to prove a point about the complete waste of time it was to indulge in “footy tipping”, I entered the competition at my office by filling out ALL the results up to the finals series in one hit… then tossed coins to determine the selections for the finals… I came second and I won $350 from the suckers!

      Mark you, I was nearly lynched as well, but that would have been a small price to pay.

      Finally, I believe that Keith Dunstan should be canonised… I’m sure that what he’s done for us all is nothing short of a miracle.

      Yours in utter grass-roots anti-footyness…

      Lindsay Hocking

    30. Horray I’ve finally found an anti football site. Good work guys! Trying to avoid football in Melbourne is difficult, but no where near as difficult as avoiding country football when you live in a country town. Surrounded by football heroes, congratulating themselves with cerimonies such as jersy night, coaches awards, umpires awards, players awards, presentation night, team selection night, numerous photos in local paper, including mug shots and player profile for each team, grand final night celabration, day after grand final night celebration, week long celebration, footy trip and few weeks later pre season training starts again.
      In no other sport do they congradulate themselves so many times.

    31. I find this amusing, not just about football, but by most other sports too.

      If you live a fairly sedate lifestyle, it’s a terrible sin, you’ll get fat, you’ll have diabetes… but if you play sport then you’ll be healthy for the rest of your life.

      Well it’s all a great con.

      Have you seen the list of injuries people who play sport get? broken bones, fractures skull, gouged eyeballs, pulled groins, kneecaps displaced and other bits misplaced and bruised and bleeding.

      And parents still force their kids into this, it’s insane!

      I have known of the real AFL since I was a kid, I’m 41 now.

      I’ll join as soon as I can.


    32. You guys seriously make me sick. Have you really got nothing better to do than slag on the single greatest game in australia, if not the world. A true australian icon, a part of aussie culture, a symbol of evrything great about this nation. The Anit-football League is one of the most un-australian things i’ve ever come across and is simply a ****** discrase. Go kill yourselves all you low life pricks.

    33. My vote is for David Hicks (or me). Either of us would be great recipients. David for being sensible and living outside this pigskin ridden county for five years and me for living here but still managing to ignore (and publically denigrate where possible)the “game” for all of my 53 years!

    34. I would like to nominate Michael Leunig, referring to his poem book “A bunch of Poesy, page 68” Have a look, it’s great.

    35. Hi – I would like to nominate myself! I grew up in an “ethnic” household, where football was never seen, mentioned or recognized in any way. I once saw an AFL game at the Telstra Dome because I was given free tickets and a free meeal – the meal was great.

      As one half of husband-wife entertainment duo ‘String Fever’ I am now a proud co-performer of one of my husband’s songs “Planet Sports” which does much to promote anti AFL sentiment.

      Click on this link to download your (free) copy of the song from You Send It


    36. Would not the awarding of the Douglas Wilkie Medal on the same day as the “dreaded game” so called highest award (something with low in it), have more impact? We are after all supposed to be “anti”.

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