Aussie Doctor Hands Back Her Order Of Australia Medal In Protest Over Margaret Court Mess

order of australia

Just when you thought we were safe from the endless Margaret Court discourse, the controversial former tennis champ has been awkwardly lobbed into the conversation yet again, thanks to the decision to shower her with Australia Day honours.

Margaret Court has copped significant criticism for her comments on LGBT people and marriage equality, and earlier this week, there was widespread outrage when it was revealed that she will be elevated to Companion of the Order of Australia.

Following on from the news, Canberra doctor Clara Tuck Meng Soo, who received an Order of Australia medal in 2016, has said that she will return the award in protest. Dr Soo, a trans woman and long-time LGBT advocate, wrote to the Governor General to express her anger.

She said:

“By giving this promotion to Mrs Margaret Court, the Council of the Order of Australia is sending a strong signal to distressed (LGBTIQ+) youth that discrimination and prejudice against them is tolerated in our Australian community … I have spent a significant amount of my working life working with and advocating for disadvantaged communities in Australia.”

She went on to say that, because of the message sent by Court’s honour, she has to return her own medal:

“[I] have both professional experience as well as lived experience of the communities that Mrs Margaret Court makes these derogatory and hurtful remarks about … I do not want to be seen as supporting the values that the Council for the Order of Australia seem to be supporting with this promotion of Mrs Margaret Court.”

Victorian premier Daniel Andrews has slammed the decision to award Court a “disgraceful”, and opposition leader Anthony Albanese questioned the motives of the decision, claiming it has “nothing to do with tennis.”