Dr Rodney Syme was named the Australian Humanist of the Year 2017 in recognition of his compassionate advocacy for the legalisation of voluntary assisted dying in Victoria and around Australia, sometimes at great professional risk, and for expressing fundamental Humanist values whilst doing so. Below is his acceptance speech given at the Gala Dinner held in Melbourne on 8 April, 2017.
CAHS is pleased to announce that the Australian Humanist of the Year for 2015 is Dr Carmen Lawrence. This award recognises that Dr Lawrence has consistently demonstrated a humanist approach to a wide range of issues, both as politician, and as university lecturer and researcher. She has spoken out on matters of concern to Humanists including the welfare of Indigenous people, equality for women, inequality in education and Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers.
Christopher Hitchens described Geoffrey Robertson as ‘the greatest living Australian' and just before Robertson was to cross-examine Princess Diana, the London Times complained that he was ‘anti-establishment, republican and Australian' - in ascending order of horror.