AUSTRALIAN OF THE YEAR:
Former federal sports minister Bridget McKenzie has been named as The Bug’s Australian of the Year. (main picture)
The AOTY Award was presented to Ms McKenzie at a ceremony held online to cope with COVID-19 pandemic requirements.
Speaking from the Oily Palms Massage Parlour in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley, the chair of The Bug’s AOTY judging panel, finance and investment columnist Morrie Bezzle, said Ms McKenzie was a standout in the list of nominees judged on their contribution to the nation during 2020.
“Bridget epitomises two things true blue Aussies love more than anything – sports and rorts,” Mr Bezzle said.
“She showed during her time as a minister that she was prepared to bend the rules a bit here and there to get the outcome that was needed.
“She showed she wasn’t prepared to be bluffed by a bunch of time-serving, shiny-arise pen-pushing bureaucrats who rabbit on about irrelevant gobbledygook like accountability, honesty in government, equity, and fairness.
“Bridget showed everyone from the PM Scotty Morrison down that she had what it takes to be a good minister right up to the point he needed her to chop her own head off – politically speaking of course – and take the heat for the decisions he maintained were all above board.”
Mr Bezzle said Ms McKenzie had also demonstrated her suitability as Australian of the Year after leaving the Morrison ministry.
“Just recently Bridget was shown at a Bunnings checkout showing wilful disregard for the current demand to wear masks when mixing with other Aussies,” Mr Bezzle said.
“I can’t think of anything more Australia than that one rebellious – and yes, risky and potentially fatal – act of individuality.”
Ms McKenzie said the AOTY award would be a constant and fitting reminder of her ministerial career.
Other winners of The Bug’s Australian of the Year Awards have been businessman and political activist Clive Palmer and teenage environmental activist Scomo Turdberg (pictured).
Mr Bezzle thanked all who had nominated their fellow Australians for this year’s awards as well as the award benefactors including the estate of the late Alan Bond, the estate of the late Laurie Connell, and Christopher Skase.