#MenToo speaker Bettina Arndt will be in Mackay this October.
#MenToo speaker Bettina Arndt will be in Mackay this October.

Call for Bettina Arndt to have Aus Day honour cancelled

VICTORIA'S Attorney-General Jill Hennessy has called for controversial commentator Bettina Arndt to have her Australia Day honour "cancelled".

Ms Hennesy said she was "alarmed" and "concerned" that Ms Arndt was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) - Australia's third-highest civic honour.

Ms Arndt was recognised on Australia Day for striving to achieve "gender equity through advocacy for men".

Victorian Attorney-General Jill Hennessy has called for Bettina Arndt to be stripped of her Australia Day honour. Picture: Mark Stewart
Victorian Attorney-General Jill Hennessy has called for Bettina Arndt to be stripped of her Australia Day honour. Picture: Mark Stewart

However the announcement drew a swift backlash, with 31,000 people signing an online petition calling for the honour to be revoked.

Ms Hennesy weighed into the debate in a letter to Governor-general David Hurley, which she shared on social media on Wednesday night.

In her letter, she wrote that bestowing such an honour on Ms Arndt would cause distress to abuse victims.

She said Ms Arndt's views and activities "diminish the devastating experiences of victim-survivors of family and sexual violence, promote division and discourage victim-survivors from taking steps to ensure their survival and safety".

"I would ask the Council of the Order of Australia consider cancellation of Ms Arndt's award given that her public commentary brings the Order in to disrepute and in particular that it attaches the Order's tacit support to her views."

Ms Arndt responded in a tweet where she said "Shame on Victoria's first law officer, Jill Hennessy, the Victorian Attorney-General for responding to muckraking from ideologues rather than seeking proper evidence".


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