Monday, July 25, 2005

Australian Actors and Antiquities

In Australia, you don't have to be a mansion or battle site to be recognized as a monument. The National Trust of Australia recognizes and preserves the best of the nation, including humans.

It recently added 15 folk to its list of living treasures. The chairman of the committee that made it happen is Michael Ball.

The first such list of 100 Living Treasures appeared in 1997. Since then, 15 of them no longer fit the living requirement.

Our MB announced the replacement process last year. It prepared a slate of candidates and accepted fax, letter or email votes nationwide. MB noted the broad cross-section of society among candidates. There was a do-gooder priest Father Chris Riley, two wealthy citizens who devoted their lives to philanthropy, opera conductor Simone Young, human-rights campaigner Elizabeth Evatt, artist Peter Booth, and swimmer Ian Thorpe, among many others.

When the resulting list of 15 appeared, MB said,"Some of them I'd never heard of and obviously some are very famous, but no, some of the scientists and academics and those involved in social service, some of those were very unfamiliar to me and to others. So it proves the good sense of the Australian people."

Among the new treasures were:
  • 2003 Australian of the Year Professor Fiona Stanley
  • Refugee advocate Julian Burnside
  • Australian Breastfeeding Association founder Mary Paton
  • Actors Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman
  • Sportsmen Pat Rafter and Steve Waugh
You can see the whole list, old and new, here.

No comments: