Comedian and environmental activist Rod Quantock receives Medal of the Order of Australia in Queen’s Birthday Honours

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A comedian with a conscience: Rod Quantock's conservation work has been awarded. Photo: James Penlidis

A comedian with a conscience: Rod Quantock’s conservation work has been awarded. Photo: James Penlidis

The Age: Comedian and environmental activist Rod Quantock receives Medal of the Order of Australia in Queen’s Birthday Honours. Debbie Cuthbertson, Arts Editor, The Age (8 June 2015)

Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM)

ROD QUANTOCK –  Comedian and environmental activist

Clifton Hill comedian Rod Quantock may be best known for his work on stage and TV, but his Medal of the Order of Australia equally recognises his services to sustainability and conservation as well as the performing arts.

The star of TV comedies including Australia, You’re Standing In It and Melbourne International Comedy Festival veteran has also joined community campaigns including protests against the East West Link, the grassroots fight to stop McDonalds from opening in Tecoma and the push to save Albert Park when the Australian Formula One Grand Prix came to Melbourne.

He combines the two disciplines in his latest project, predicated upon the “extinction” of the Tim Tam due to peak oil and climate change.

“Half my life is being a comedian and the other half talking about sustainability,” Quantock, 66, says. “I’ve spent 10 years working on climate change and peak oil and doing shows on them.”

Quantock said he was surprised to receive the honour and hoped it would draw attention to unsung community activists.

“My only disappointment is it’s not a knighthood,” he quipped, in reference to the Abbott government’s recent reintroduction of the title to the Australian honours system.

“It’s a strange thing, it’s not something I’d expected,” Quantock said. “It really is a great honour and a great tribute to all those organisations and causes I’ve worked with over the years.”

He particularly namechecked unionist Paddy ​Garritty, who got him involved in the campaign to end Indonesia’s occupation of East Timor in the 1970s, and with whom he worked to raise funds for the campaign to stop the Franklin Dam in the ’80s, and Julianne Bell, Victorian secretary of the Protectors of Public Land, “an extraordinary woman who spends 24 hours a day saving trees and neighbourhoods and landscapes”.

“These are people who really try very hard to change the world. To see the joy on people’s faces when they defeated the East West Link, after four years of incredibly inventive protesting … or in Tecoma. Ordinary people who if McDonalds hadn’t come they would have stayed ordinary.”

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/comedy/comedian-and-environmental-activist-rod-quantock-receives-medal-of-the-order-of-australia-in-queens-birthday-honours-20150605-ghgr3h.html#ixzz3dR2tN78l

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