Interview: Jon Faine 774 ABC Melbourne: Victorian of the Year
After Dr Finkel was named as the 2016 Victorian of the Year, he appeared on 774 ABC Melbourne with Jon Faine to give an interview on 1 July 2016.
Dr Finkel spoke about the honour of being recognised by the state of Victoria, as well as his passion for his home city.
“[I was] pretty much every five weeks hopping on a plane from Melbourne to San Francisco to spend a week over there. And it was worth it. It was a lot of effort but it was worth it to be living in Melbourne”
You can read the transcript below, or download it as a pdf.
Interview with Jon Faine on 774 ABC Melbourne Hobart: Victorian of the Year 2016
Dr Alan Finkel was interviewed by Jon Faine, the mornings’ presenter on Mornings 774 ABC Melbourne about being named Victorian of the Year on 1 July 2016.
Alan Finkel: Jon I’ve got to say I’m delighted to receive this award. It’s quite different, I have been fortunate enough to receive awards for things I have done in science and engineering. But now I’m right up there with the doyennes of sport, and art, and business, and I’m just extraordinarily honoured.
Jon Faine: Do you get a special parking permit or something like that? Keys to the city, what comes with it?
Alan Finkel: That’s an excellent idea, and now that we’re on live I think that we should put a pitch in for that parking permit. Or maybe a gold key to the city.
Jon Faine: Well I wouldn’t imagine there would be too many parts of it that you’ve not actually experienced over your long and glittered career.
Alan Finkel: Well I’ve lived in Melbourne, Australia for nearly all my life. I spent five years in the 1980s with my wife Elizabeth when I set up my company in California in the Silicon Valley, and the company was going very well, but after five years the lure of coming back to beautiful Victoria was too strong. So for the next 15 years I kept my company going by, at the time, what I considered to be the world’s longest distance commuter. Pretty much every five weeks hopping on a plane from Melbourne to San Francisco to spend a week over there. And it was worth it. It was a lot of effort but it was worth it to be living in Melbourne.
Jon Faine: And the great paradox is you’re spending even less time in Melbourne even though you’ve just been named as Victorian of the Year.
Alan Finkel: Jon you’re right, life is full of paradoxes! If it wasn’t, life wouldn’t be interesting.
Jon Faine: Well that’s just part of being Australia’s Chief Scientist. And what an interesting time it is, in particular with a federal election campaign putting everything up in the air.
Alan Finkel: It is.
Jon Faine: I reckon I could spend the next 15 minutes trying to get you to say something political and it would be a complete waste of time.
Alan Finkel: I was about to say we’re in caretaker mode, Jon! So I have to be very apolitical. But it could be acknowledged that all of the political parties have shown an interest in science and innovation and all of the opportunities that they bring to our country.
Jon Faine: Congratulations, I look forward to hearing more from you during the year.
Alan Finkel: Pleasure Jon, take care.
Jon Faine: Australia’s Chief Scientist and now Victorian of the Year, Dr Alan Finkel.