Today, Sports Minister in the Rudd Government Kate Ellis won an Oscar for her portrayal of a Cabinet minister. Walter Slurry was there to see history in the making:

On my God … I never expected to win this award!

There are just so many people I’d like to thank.

Firstly to Kevin Rudd, I owe you so much. When Kevin approached me with the script for ‘Sports Minister’ I was really hesitant, unsure that I was right for this role.

When I accepted this part I didn’t even know there were two forms of rugby … and like how many games are there called “football”? It took me months of training just to get my head around all the technical aspects to “Sports Minister”. Like soccer is football, but so too is Aussie Rules!

I take my hat off to sports journalists — they really have a tough job working out which football is which!

But Kevin had faith in my ability to pretend I was a real life Minister of the Crown and I hope I’ve done justice to his vision.

I did a lot of research for this role and spoke to many Ministers and cabinet members, parliamentary secretaries and ball boys. What struck me most was just how competent and hard working these people are. It amazed me to discover that there is more to being a minister than having an attractive figure and a marginal seat.

I’d also like to thank Wayne Swan and Lindsay Tanner, without whom “Sports Minister” would never have been made. The film’s climax — where I oversee a one-line budget appropriation to the Sports Commission — was really their inspiration.

Wayne and Lindsay didn’t want my character to be burdened with too many subplots involving multiple responsibilities and complicated funding mechanisms, so they narrowed it down to just one budget measure and the rest of the movie would be photo opportunities and clunky speeches.

I note that some members of the press have criticised “Sports Minister” for being shallow, superficial and demeaning to the sport and recreation sector.

I accept that it seems ludicrous that in the midst of a global financial crisis a sports minister would spend over $40 million in a pathetic attempt to win the rights to host the World Cup in 2018 when they’d been told by FIFA that they won’t get it — but fantasy is the hallmark of Rudd Studios.

I can assure you all that “Stimulus Package” will indeed be the most expensive science fiction film ever made.

The character I play in this film — a sports minister who’s taken captive by the obsessed technocrats at the Sports Commission and their evil leader, John Coates — is in fact based on fact.

Jackie Kelly was a true inspiration for me. Her inability to find savings, to engender structural reform, to disband the top-heavy and useless Sports Commission and instead properly fund the AIS; and her failure to do anything more than be a vacuous cheerleader for Olympic medals … why I’d just like to dedicate this Award to Jackie!

Finally I’d like to thank my many fans and supporters out there. I’m way too busy to meet with you, but I’ll have my office note your request for an interview.

In real life, being the sports minister of the fattest people in the world during a global financial crisis must be a very demanding job and I’m sure it would require some tough decisions about cutting back on elite sport and building up participation and activity. So I pay tribute to those people who have a greater responsibility than smiling nicely and reading a prepared script.

And now please welcome to the stage Peter Garrett to present the Academy Award for Best Editing of an Election Promise…

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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