Subject: Senate motion on Bettina Arndt's Order of Australia

11 Mar 2020 From Phil Bachmann


His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC


Your Excellency,


On 25 February 2020, the Australian Senate publicly admonished one of your Order of Australia recipients, Bettina Arndt, for saying something they apparently disagree with. By an overwhelming majority, the Senate passed a motion stating, amongst other things, that:

“the values that underpin Ms Arndt's views on [a particular] horrific family violence incident are not consistent with her retaining her Order of Australia”

I think, in making such pronouncements, Australian politicians have strayed too far from what they are paid to do and have wandered onto your turf. As I see it, their job is two-fold:

  1. Engage in constructive dialogue with citizens on matters of public importance.
  2. Set up rules, incentives and administrative arrangements accordingly.

I urge you to make a public statement reminding all Australians what the job of politicians is and what it is not.

As an aside, I have recently sent a private message to the Prime Minister explaining how the first of the above-mentioned aims could be done much better than it currently is. You may want to ask him how he is going with that.


Yours faithfully,


Phil Bachmann


His Excellency David Hurley responded on 11 Mar 2020

Thank you for your email.

In all matters relating to the Order of Australia, the Governor-General acts on the advice from and recommendations made by the Council for the Order of Australia.

When correspondence is received about the possible termination or cancellation of an award it is referred to the Council for advice and action.

Your email has been forwarded to the appropriate area.

Australian Honours and Awards Secretariat

Government House, Canberra


 RecipientHis Excellency David Hurley
11 Mar 2020ResponseResponse to email