Djokovic and the “Secretary-Bird”

Michael Roberts

When my wife and I went on a Safari tour in Zimbabwe in the 1990s I was fascinated by sightings of a “Secretary Bird” through my binoculars. The official identity of this strange figure  was Sagittarius serpentarius.”   But, in my reading and juxtaposition, its upright walking stance simply indicated a prim and proper secretary persona.           

When I first saw Novak Djokovic on the tennis court, I immediately associated the two figures.  Maybe a strange leap; but it is a fixed asociation im my mind –one which did not, and does not, degrade my admiration for Djokovic’s tennis. 







However, my respect for Novak has since taken a major hit following his anti-vax stance and prima donna performances in recent weeks (made worse by  Serbian support for their star sportsman).






Filed under accountability, art & allure bewitching, Australian culture, australian media, coronavirus, life stories, performance, photography, politIcal discourse, power politics, slanted reportage, taking the piss, the imaginary and the real, tolerance, trauma, unusual people, world events & processes

6 responses to “Djokovic and the “Secretary-Bird”

  1. Fair Dinkum

    I am delighted Novak Djokovic won his Federal court case in Melbourne yesterday, in which Judge Kelly overturned the Australian government’s decision to cancel his visa. I watched the trial and thought Judge Kelly arrived at the correct decision, as the government’s case fell apart in the afternoon.

    Regardless of Novak’s vaccination status, Judge Kelly concluded Novak was treated unfairly by Australian Border officials at Melbourne airport. Transcripts of his interviews with border officials (which have been made public) confirm this.

    The Australian authorities granted him a visa, and with two independent medical assessments, he was permitted to travel to Australia. Australian border officials refused to wait till 8.30am so Novak could contact Tennis Australia who could have cleared up the matter. They cancelled his visa without giving him the opportunity to contact Tennis Australia.

    He put his career on the line by taking the matter to court and he could have lost everything.

    Throughout this farcical case, the Australian government have behaved like spoilt children and have been cruel and vindictive by still threatening to cancel his visa, which would overturn the decision of the Federal court and confirms to us all that this case has been driven by politics, not genuine issues relating to biosecurity or public health.

    He deserved to win the case, and he should play in the Australian Open and I wish him all the best.

    I find it disturbing that the Federal Government and Victorian government have done nothing but squabble over this case, mudslinging and blaming each other. The only rational person involved in this case was Judge Kelly – not Morrison and not the Andrews government.

    On a final note, I would like to add that I very much enjoyed the Serbians and Greeks who spontaneously sang songs and performed dances outside the Federal court house yesterday. It was a friendly lively atmosphere.

  2. Fair Dinkum

    I can well understand why Novak’s father spoke as he did earlier, calling Australia a “banana republic” and claiming that his son was being “tortured”. I can understand Serbian sensibilities which one needs to do to understand the way he expresses, concerns for his son, as any father would in terms of their own sensibilities. His comments about Australia may have sounded far-fetched but after what I have seen this week play out in Australia, his assessment of Australia is correct. Even Kevin Rudd, a former PM, is referring to Australia as a banana Republic.

    Torture comes in many forms. To have the threat of visa cancellation hanging over your head while preparing for the Grand Slam, and then, to cap it off, the Australian Immigration Minister cancels his visa at 6pm on a Friday evening two days before he plays is political-psychological torture. I am sure no tennis player would enjoy going through this shit.

    I read Scott Morrison’s bizzare statement and I have never read so much bullshit in my life. What he wrote is nonsense and is no justification for cancelling Novak’s visa.

    The Australian government have infected sports with the worst kind of politics, and international outrage against Australia is well justified.

    To the Kiwi commentator who spoke about the “morons”, what he or she refers to is unrelated to the event I witnessed. The one I saw in the early part of the day was peaceful. What happened later outside the lawers office I did not see, but to confuse the two events is not intelligent thinking.

  3. Fair Dinkum

    It is possible to be pro vacine but supportive of a tennis player who has been badly treated by the media and the Australian government.

  4. Chandra Maliyadde

    Who does not get fascinated by a “Secretary Bird” but certainly not when one is with his wife?

Leave a Reply