Peter Kocan, AM?

Peter Kocan: would-be assassin, but with the Order of Australia? A news blurb from the Australia Council’s site, three years ago: Read it here.

Dr Peter Kocan wins Australia Council’s Writer’s Emeritus Award
24 November 2010
Dr Peter Kocan. Photo: Vincent Long. Prolific writer Dr Peter Kocan AM, who forged a career as one Australia’s most gifted writers after rising to notoriety in 1966 with the assassination attempt of the Leader of the Opposition, will this afternoon be honoured for his longstanding commitment to Australian writing, receiving the Australia Council Writers Emeritus Award… [More]

“AM” usually means “Member of the Order of Australia”, a special medal for suck-up artists with huge ambitions. It seems Mr Kocan — sorry, Doctor Kocan — forged more than a career, for when I looked up the Order of Australia website I became very confused:

Search Australian Honours – Simple Search: You searched for Awardee: Kocan, Peter which returned 0 results.

Golly, did those august people make a mistake? Zero results? Puh-leeze: this is an important Australian author! Maybe the person who awarded him his Emeritus Award would like to say something… Dennis Haskell? We’re waiting…

And waiting…

[Later…] Now I know: at the foot of the Australia Council page praising Dr Peter Kocan AM, is this paragraph: “Dr Kocan received a University of Newcastle Medal for academic excellence for his consistent good work during his degree studies, which concluded with a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in English with honours in 1998…” So “AM” really stands for “Academic Medal”. Phew! Thank God for that! Now we know! Dennis Haskell, relax!

[Photo Credit: Vincent Long]