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:
A big thank you to all contributors and commentators.