OUR POOR BACKWARD AUSTRALIA

One of the country’s most successful IT entrepreneurs has said Australia is increasingly seen as a “disappointment” overseas and at the “back of the pack” on social issues.

Speaking exclusively to news.com.au, founder of software company Atlassian Mike Cannon-Brookes said Australia’s lack of same-sex marriage was a “surprise” to many people he met when out of the country.

Often referred to as “accidental billionaires”, Mr Cannon-Brookes and co-founder Scott Farquhar started the IT firm in 2002 with the aim of achieving an average graduate starting salary without having to work for a big corporation. The plan worked — Mr Cannon-Brookes is now reportedly worth at least $2bn.

I’ve been overseas recently for five weeks and not once has anyone expressed disappointment with me about Australia’s lack of same-sex marriage. Then again, I probably don’t talk to people that tech entrepreneurs worth $2 bln normally talk to.

I get the “surprise” bit, because SSM is now recognised in most of the developed countries, and Australia has always had a reputation for being quite socially progressive (female suffrage and all that), but how logical and reasonable is it to look at one specific issue and then, based on it, make a sweeping judgment about the state of social issues in Australia in general and judge the whole country a disappointment? Whoever does that? Intelligent people, presumably. Sad.

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