Source : - ABC News Online

August 5, 2006

ACT Chief Minister Jon Stanhope has rejected criticism of his nomination of Terry Hicks, the father of Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks, for the Father of the Year award.

Federal Attorney-General Philip Ruddock says Mr Stanhope is trying to politicise the awards.

Mr Stanhope has denied the claims, and says he was simply trying to acknowledge the work of a father supporting his son under difficult circumstances.

"I've nominated a person who I believe should be seriously considered as the Father of the Year," he said.

"To suggest that by nominating someone whose son is held in custody politicises an award, is essentially to suggest that only fathers of model sons should be considered."

Mr Stanhope says he has never compared Terry Hicks to Steve Waugh or the Prime Minister in regard to nominating him for the Father of the Year award.

Mr Stanhope says the media has misconstrued his nomination in which he only listed previous recipients of the award.

"To show the enduring and unconditional love and the grace that Terry Hicks has shown in supporting his son, I think is wonderful," he said.

"I think Terry Hicks is an inspiration to all fathers and to all parents and should be seriously considered for Father of the Year."

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