There is merit in recognising achievement

By Tom Ravlic

June 13, 2022

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Modern societies spend a lot of time wallowing in negativity. There is no need to go further than a news bulletin, a newspaper, the chat over politics with the neighbour over the fence or a mate at the office, and the all-too-present interchanges of messages on social media.

Consider for a moment the past six months that have been focused on the war in Ukraine, heavy political rhetoric in the lead-up and during Australia’s federal election campaign, and an ever-increasing focus on the tougher economic circumstances with inflation and rising interest rates.

There are many things that cause problems, and it is fair and reasonable for them to be discussed, but there are moments when any community and, indeed, an entire country can take a deep breath and acknowledge good things.

Awarding of honours on the Queen’s Birthday or Australia Day is one way of focusing on good things that people within the community have done regardless of whether they are a sportsperson, scientist, artist, public servant, doctor, community leader, rights activist, or local hero.

Acknowledging the service of others within the community and the achievements of individuals in the various fields of work or play on these two occasions sets time aside to talk about achievements and positive things people have done, rather than think about dreariness, darkness, and inhumanity.

There is, frankly, another reason why these awards assume importance, not just because of the recognition they give to people who have excelled in a field.

These awards give people something to aspire to if they, for example, feel that they are destined to be less successful due to their circumstances. A focus on an athlete like Dylan Alcott and his feats in wheelchair tennis might be sufficient for someone to have that moment when the world brightens up and they say, ‘I can do it, too’.

Award winners and honours recipients are just as much there to inspire, giving people something to aspire to as much as they are to be rewarded for things they have done.


The Queen’s Birthday 2022 Honours List COVID-19 Honour Roll

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