In the lowest-common-denominator fashion so typical of Queensland, there’s an abundance of suggestions to name the bridge after Wally Lewis, Mal Meninga, Darren Lockyer and Wayne Bennet (all legends of rugby league, to those of you outside Oz). While I’m the first to acknowledge the importance of team sports in teaching children about teamwork and keeping them active – and the related importance of having sporting heroes to give kids a motivation to take up said sports – by no means do I consider any of these people to have dramatically shaped this city for the better. All they’ve done is play a game.
If Queensland is serious about changing its national perception from being ‘the state full of corrupt homophobic redneck tossers‘ and live up to its adopted state slogan “The Smart State” then now might be a good time to speak up. Enter Ian Frazer, the guy at the University of Queensland who CURED FUCKING CANCER. Okay, not quite – but he did develop a vaccine for cervical cancer and was named Australian of the Year in 2006 for his efforts.
Just so we’re on the same page here, let me dig up some stats. Wikipedia tells me that there are an estimated 233,000 deaths from cervical cancer each year. ZOMG. Granted, the vaccine isn’t going to get to every one of those people, but this guy’s work is going to save a metric assload of lives.
And he’s not done yet – dude is going to pwn skin cancer next.
So please (please, please) help me in convincing the city council that we ought honour a man who’s made an amazing difference for the better to people’s lives around the world when we cross this bridge, not remember Mal’s ‘fucken awesome try in the 1990 grand final’.