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Thread: Among breeding suppliers & farmers, it is a well-known dictum you keep very close watch on your genetic pool – lest you develop a weakened herd brought about by inbreeding. Inbred pigs for example can develop grotesque malformations. Which brings me to Rupert Murdoch.  

    This week, a strange little coterie calling themselves the ‘Australia Day Foundation UK’ dusted off an old Word template and created a nice certificate for Rupert Murdoch in time for today’s Australia/#InvasionDay controversies. But what is the Australia Day UK Foundation you ask?



  The Australia Day Foundation UK appears to be a strange hybrid of registered charity, trust fund distributors & unique award bestowers that is also registered as a UK charity with rent free offices within Australia House – the property of the Australian taxpayer.       Established by John Howard in 2003, the award giving section of the Australia Day Foundation UK is a murky half-entity. It seems to occasionally promote itself as part of the Australian govt, with the Australian High Commissioner bestowing the annual awards at a gala dinner held at…       … Australia House, while also claiming to be a UK based organisation dabbling in philanthropy. Tony Abbott established the Baden-Powell sounding side of the Australian Day Foundation Trust in 2013 They “promote the education, social & physical training of young Australian citizens”     Strangely, there is nothing in the trust’s financials to indicate they are involved in an annual Australia Day UK Awards ceremony. Which means the Australian government/High Commission side of the foundation must help fund the slap-up, invitation only evening. And the awards.    

  In 2004, the inaugural Australia Day Foundation UK committee included Jane L’Estrange (the wife of John Howard’s former Cabinet Secretary) and Kate Kenward, the PR Manager for somebody called Scott Morrison, then at Tourism Australia.       The 2021 board/committee/award-gifters has now shrunk to four. The committee that bestowed this year’s invented award upon Rupert Murdoch, partly paid for with your Australian tax dollars are: – well known Australian tourism-travel advocate, Richard Porter (appointed by Abbott)     – tourism-travel marketing professional, Kate Bifield (appointed last year) – David (Chris) Hickey, who sits on the UK-Australian Chamber of Commerce board with Sir Lynton Crosby – Bill Muirhead, co-owner of M&C Saatchi, the firm Scott Morrison used for Tourism Australia.  


Bill Muirhead – Wikipedia

    And past award recipients from the illustrious Australia Day Foundation UK award bestowers? They include such leading Australian lights as: Elizabeth Truss – Tory MP and UK Minister for Trade who created an advisory position for Tony Abbott on the UK Board of Trade,  



– Sir Lynton Crosby, the founder of Crosby Textor and leading conservative government strategist – Sir Michael Hintze, billionaire supporter of climate denialist organisations & former business partner of Angus Taylor MP – Boris Johnson, no bio needed. Getting the picture?  


    So it comes as no surprise this year’s committee bestowed an “award” on Rupert Murdoch. I say the committee, because other than the listing of the 4 board members there is no other open documentation on the entire process of the Australian Day Foundation UK Awards. Nothing exists. On the website, a small scant form asks who you’d like to nominate. No additional information is provided. There is no published judging criteria for these awards partly supported by the Australian govt. No mention of a panel. No mention of judging.       There is also little to no mention on the Australia Day Foundation UK website of an award called the “Lifetime Achievement Award” The award appears to have been created specifically in 2007 as a posthumous gesture to one of the Australia Day Foundation instigators, Maurice de Rohan.  

    Apart from gifting the Lifetime Achievement Award to Mr de Rohan in 2007, the award appears (according to the Australia Day Foundation website) to have been largely forgotten for 14 years. Until, that is, a concerted push against Rupert Murdoch started recently in Australia.  

  Perhaps it’s just coincidence. But no matter, the financial co-sponsors of the Australia Day Foundation UK “award” to Rupert Murdoch will no doubt see it as money well spent. And not just any sponsors, but a very specific group of sponsors. The Australia Day “Lifetime Achievement Award” invented for Rupert Murdoch was financed by money provided by: the fossil fuel multi-national, Woodside Petroleum   and the mining multi-national, Rio Tinto     and the mining multi-national, Anglo American  


  and the energy multi-national, Worley Resources     as well as Sir Michael Hintze’s own asset management fund, CQS.         Previous sponsors of the unknown judging criteria Australia Day Foundation UK awards have also included BHP Billiton – which I’m sure you’ll agree helps round out a cosy little group.  


    By now you’re probably gasping in shock to discover Rupert Murdoch’s “award” was paid for by the very same fossil fuel multi-nationals his media outlets help survive. You’re also probably shocked to discover the current Morrison government helped fund Murdoch’s “award”. Which brings us back to inbreeding – and hybrid vigour. These awards are a selective boy’s club, gifted to insiders by insiders. Nobody from outside the club is allowed in. Largely conservative in nature, these farcical awards exist to prop up existing power structures. Murdoch’s fossil fuel sponsored Australia Day “award” is a fabricated piece of performance frippery. It’s that long forgotten party hat left under the stairs given to that extra birthday party guest at the last minute It was dug out purely to help Rupert Murdoch feel supported. The entire pantomime that masquerades as the Australia Day Foundation UK awards is a farce. The awards mean nothing. They are representative of nobody. It is shallow pool of conservative inbreeding. It insults ordinary Australians. The sooner it is abandoned, the better.     Just to be clear: Rupert Murdoch’s side-show award was not given by some odd “UK based” organisation. It was bestowed by a group founded & funded by the Australian govt, with board members appointed in conjunction with the Australian government at a function hosted by the Australian High Commission. A bit of a post script for you all on Rupert Murdoch’s manufactured Australia Day UK “award” If you need to alert any media to the farcical nature of these awards – show them this: Mr Philip Aiken was once, among other things, a BHP Petroleum boss in the UK. Nothing wrong with that.       He’s also one of the only 4 directors of the Australia Day UK Foundation. They’re the people who awarded Rupert his “award”. So . . . Phil Aiken runs the Australia Day UK Awards foundation because that’s what they do – give out these exclusively selective awards.  

And in a stunning display of hubris, the winner of the Australian of the Year UK this year was – Phil Aiken. That’s right. They awarded one of the awards to themselves. If that doesn’t tell you everything you need to know about the validity of Rupert’s gong, I don’t know what does.         Ronni Salt           Related  

Murdoch’s Australia Day award — brought to you by miners and bankers (Crikey)

Those who promote and profit from fossil fuels have appropriated the phony awards handed out by the obscure Australia Day Foundation.