Malcolm Turnbull flooded with letters of protest over major award

Malcolm Turnbull’s office was reportedly flooded with complaints after the Australian of the Year ceremony in January asking him reissue

Malcolm Turnbull’s office was reportedly flooded with complaints after the Australian of the Year ceremony in January asking him reissue the award to someone new.

Former chief of army Lieutenant General David Morrison was named the Australian of the year earlier this year and while many applauded the decision, others felt that Mr Morrison did not deserve the title.

Now, The Australian has revealed that the controversy around the choice landed on the PM’s doorstep.

Mr Morrison has been an outspoken advocate for equality, both within the army and out, and made headlines with his call for people to stop using the term “guys” as it was offensive to both men and women.

He also sparked outrage from some when he used his first speech after being named Australian of the Year to call for a republic.

The Australian reports that hundreds of letters were sent to Canberra, with people venting their frustration to Mr Turnbull. Many argued that Mr Morrison was too divisive and discredited the awards.

The tension was so much that our most decorated solider Ben Roberts-Smith felt compelled to write to the PM himself and address the issue.

“You will be aware David’s ­selection has generated some healthy debate which isn’t unusual for someone who wants to challenge conventional thinking,” Mr Roberts-Smith wrote to Mr Turnbull.

However, he said he did not believe the controversy was unique.

“This has happened many times in the history of the awards and I believe it simply reflects the significance of the program and that everyone seems to have an opinion on who should take the honour,” he added. He undertook to “factor into our annual review of the program” the public debate.

The letters from the public didn’t hold back, with many slamming Mr Morrison and Mr Turnbull.

One wrote: “The choice of David Morrison was a bad call by all involved. Mr Morrison took less than 24 hours to create an ­irreparable split in the Australian public with unnecessary utterings about both a republic and the Muslim issue.”

Another said: “Dear Malcolm, please show some courage and heart and ask this man to stand down.”

One wrote: “Dear Mr Turnbull, I ask that the decision to award Mr David Morrison the title of Australian of the Year is reviewed. There is too much of a cloud over him which denigrates the role …’’

Mr Turnbull was told: “His duty would be to bring Australians together. Instead, he is causing division with his dictatorial spruiking about a republic.”

Do you think David Morrison makes a good Australian of the Year? Who do you think should be the next Australian of the Year?

  1. I thought he was a great choice – especially as he was so happy to speak out about what he believes in!

    • sue  

      You have just said it all. Do we need to hear of his beliefs when he is a representative. Also, Mr Turnbull was leader of the pro Republic movement when we had the referendum some years ago and he cried like a baby when ir was a ‘no’ vote was the result. He would be in favour of Mr Morrisons behaviour. Australian of the year should apolitical.

  2. Ian  

    Doesnt he swear to serve queen and country when enlisting and upholding the constitution

  3. Stephen  

    It seems that we the people just do not trust our government to get anything right anymore. Having said that, with the way Turnbull and Brandis have politicised Gleeson, can you blame us; now no legislation passed can be guaranteed to be constitutional, and thus legal. This Australian of the Year got caught in the middle of declining trust on anything.

  4. Truth 13  

    David Morrison would have been the Chief of the Army, but as a person, other than doing his duty, for which he got paid, what did he do for the country or the people. A better candidate would have been Rev. Bill Crews, who is responsible in feeding the hungry & homeless. He is heavily involved in the activities of the Wayside Chapel, in Sydney & the Exodus Foundation in Ashfield NSW, that provide food to the poor. THAT IS A FREE SERVICE FOR THE HUNGRY & POOR. He deserves to be recognised.

  5. Jocelyn  

    Yes, IMHO David Morrison was the wrong choice.

    He must’ve been good at following orders’ & passing Exams. in the Army, otherwise he wouldn’t have got the Rank, & Position, he attained.

    But this type of person is ‘struggling’ when they get back to ‘civvie street’, as they’ve ‘no direction, or mandatory routine in their lives’ anymore.

    He seems very weak, even in his way of speech, now.
    Unfortunately for him, his Military abilities’ don’t seem to have carried over into his now life.

    Many of my family members’ were high-ranking Army people, & the same happened to them upon Retirement from the Austalian Defence Force.

  6. Pamela  

    ‘Guys’ may be offensive to him, considering he’s a homosexual limp-wrist, but that is his personal opinion. He does not speak for everyone!

    A male friend and I often have people say to us “Hi guys!” and it is certainly NOT offensive to either of us!

    • Maree  

      I agree, Pamela.
      I’ve even addressed a group of female friends, with whom I’ve dined since 1972, as ‘Hi guys’, upon my arrival at the restaurant table!

      No-one EVER objected, as we took it as a form of endearment, & friendship, over such a longtime of knowing each other!

  7. Michael  

    He never even gave credit to the servicemen and women and their service for Australia so as far as I am concerned he is a grub and does not deserve the award and should stand down.

    • Maree  

      Too late now, Michael.
      He’s only got two months’ left in the position.

      I’ve yet to hear of any thing ‘useful’ he’s done since being awarded.

      I also don’t agree with any Public Servants’, which all ADF personnel basically are, being awarded.

      I also agree with ‘Truth13’ above; an excellent choice!

  8. lurch  

    I think a lot of australians did not agree with the him getting the award, what exactly has he done in the past 10 months other than bag Australia.

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