A really interesting article from the Australian yesterday placing this weeks stories of Andrew Symonds and Chrs O'Brien together. Symonds whose international cricket career has probably come to an end
(due to his reckless actions), O'Brien whose life was tragically cut short.
The article makes the point that Australia should resolve to end a "mindless obsession with sportsmen as moral leaders and recognise that their principal role in life is to enjoy and entertain." It is a sad indictment on Australia if it is true that while "we have punched above its weight in terms of scientific innovation, these achievements are still a mystery to most of our countryfolk".
I think Penberthy makes a valuable point that we should keep national recognition (through Awards such as Australian of the Year) was "kept sacrosanct for those who have made a material contribution to the
wellbeing of others, rather than giving us the odd feeling of exuberance or joy while we sit in front of the plasma with a tinnie in our hand" (our sportsmen and sportswomen).
I'd also agree that if ever there was a argument for a posthumous Australian of the Year, O'Brien could be it.