Sadly, it doesn’t involve jousting.
Following Tony Abbott’s announcement yesterday that the order of Knights and Dames will be re-introduced to Australia, you’re probably considering your options. If you fancy yourself a dashing Knight or a moral Dame, here are seven surefire ways to get that sword on your shoulder.
1. Become a Governor-General.
Worked for: A lot of people. Sir John Kerr, Dame Quentin Bryce and Sir Ninian Stephen.
– What to expect: You might have some difficult decisions to make. Do I oust the current government or not?
2. Capture Jerusalem.
– Worked for: Sir Harry Chauvel. Sir Henry George Chauvel was knighted in 1918 for his exemplary conduct as Colonel in the 1917 Battle of Beersheba and the resulting capture of Jerusalem.
– What to expect: This one is no walk in the park – you have to capture an entire city. If you can do it though, the city – and the title – is yours.
3. Work for the “Advancement of the Aboriginal People.”
– Worked for: Sir Douglas Nicholls. The first Aboriginal person to be dubbed a Knight, Sir Douglas Nicholls received the honour in 1977. While he is best remembered as the pioneering campaigner for Aboriginal rights, he was also a professional athlete and church pastor.
– What to expect: You could have a suburb named after you and you might even meet the Pope!
4. Create the Australian Women’s Weekly and give The Daily Telegraph a makeover.
– Worked for: Sir Frank Packer. In 1959 he was knighted for services to journalism and the newspaper industry.
– What to expect: multiple television series about your life.
5. Become an operatic soprano.
– Worked for: Dame Nellie Melba. Knighted in 1918 for Services to Australia, she was celebrated for her philanthropic work during the First World War.
– What to expect: Desserts named after you. Anyone for some Peach Melba?
6. Win the Nobel Prize.
– Worked for: Sir Frank Macfarlane Burnet. Knighted in 1978, Burnet was an Australian virologist who in 1960 was awarded the Nobel Prize for predicting acquired immune tolerance.
– What to expect: You’ll probably also become Australian of the Year a few years later! Lucky you!
7. Become Prime Minister.
– Worked for: Sir Robert Menzies. In 1976 Menzies, the longest serving Prime Minister, was knighted “For extraordinary and pre-eminent achievement and merit in the field of government.” The Liberal politician was Prime Minister from 1939 to 1941 and then again from 1949 to 1966.
– What to expect: If you plan on becoming a Knight or Dame this way, you should be aware it can be time consuming. Menzies was in office for a total of 18 years!