At the safari event this year (2004) the award recipient for Don Dunstan Young Achiever award – Bob Pitt – refused his award for reasons he divulged in his official statement, as follows:
“I needed to make a stand. Global society is becoming less tolerant of those who are different. Australia is becoming a less tolerant nation. I quote a Catholic Priest who recalled his behaviour during the Nazi era:
“First they took away the Jews. I did nothing.
Then, they took away the homosexuals. I did nothing.
Then, they took away the disabled. I did nothing.
Then, they came to take away the Catholics. I called out for help, but there was no-one left to help me”.
It is my view that we need to be alert, on guard and not complacent. Don’t take wearing your suit for granted. Do we all want to be locked up in an ex-Army base near Port Augusta attired in our safari suits, adorned with polyester and crowned with wigs. Well, maybe, but
I welcome comments on the thoughts below:
Reflections on Our Belief Systems.
Most Australians have traditionally rejected the concept of a government denying individuals the right to practice the of wearing Safari Suits, and, as a result, have benefited from a rich variety of safari heritage in this country;
The practices of the wearing a safari suit (as well as polyester and wigs) are an integral part of our culture, tradition and heritage, such practices forming the basis of the Safari Suit identity and value systems:
Whereas the lack of a clear, comprehensive, and consistent Federal policy has often resulted in the abridgment of religious freedom for traditional Safari Suit wearers;
Whereas such infringements result from the lack of knowledge or the insensitive and inflexible enforcement, of Federal policies and regulations premised on a variety of laws;
Whereas such laws and policies often deny Australians access to sacred Safari Suit sites;
Whereas such laws at times prohibit the use and possession of sacred objects necessary to the exercise of Safari rites and ceremonies;
It therefore it must be resolved by the Australian Parliament that henceforth there shall be the policy of Australia to protect and pre serve for all Safari Suit wearers, their inherent right of freedom to believe, express, and exercise the traditional ceremonies and traditional rites.
The Prime Minister shall direct the various Federal departments, agencies, and other instrumentalities responsible for administering relevant laws to evaluate their policies and procedures in consultation with the Safari Suit Organising Committee, in order to determine appropriate changes necessary to protect and preserve Safari Suit wearers’ cultural rights and practices. Twelve months after approval report of this resolution, the Prime Minister shall report back to Parliament the results of the evaluation, including any changes which were made in administrative policies and procedures, and any recommendations he may have for legislative action to ensure the preservation and advancement of Safari Suits.
Have I made my point?”
Of course this caused a major controversy and people certainly let Bob have it on the Talkin’ safari bulletin board.
Did Bob finally officially accept his award?