The Zeros and Heroes of 2014

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With 2014 almost done-and-dusted, we thought we’d highlight the people who shaped the last twelve months, for better or worse, so here are’s zeros and heroes of 2014, starting with the dicks and finishing with the legends:


Nigel Farage (leader of the UK Independence Party). British politics is now so bogged down on the immigration issue that so many more important issues are slipping through undiscussed. Farage is to blame – and the political media in the UK a little. Also, anyone who voted for UKIP – seriously, have a word with yourself. Selected by Gary Page, Joe Haddow and Peter Watts.

Bill Cosby. Selected by Tammy Potakh

Tony Abbott. Selected by Liana Gow-Killingbeck

Tony Abbott. Selected by Jack Colwell

1. Tony Abbott. 2. Tony Abbott. 3. Tony Abbott. Selected by Joel Anderson

Rolf Harris and Tony Abbott. Also, Jennifer Lopez and Iggy Azalea for that bum video. I’ve seen sexier episodes of The Antiques RoadshowSelected by Bobby Townsend

The Kardashian family and whoever it is up top that thinks that they need to push them down our throats, seriously, gtfo. Selected by Tenley Nordstrom and Melissa Barrass.

The collective of people who sit and watch as a lone mother attempts to singlehandedly take her pram off the tram while holding the hand of her crying infant. Shame on you. Selected by Kaya Strehler

In light of recent incidents in Sydney, I think it’s obvious who this accolade goes to. Heartbreaking. Selected by Golden Lady

Political and religious ego that kills innocent people. Selected by Rose Ashton

Ben Barba. I’m a leaguey and a Broncos supporter. Barba’s non-performance for my beloved Broncs in 2014 is hard to go past. Selected by Matt Lengren

Does Ebola count? That was horrific. Selected by Desmond Chan

The ingenuous idiot who parked across my sodding driveway every day for almost three months without getting a parking ticket. Karma will avenge. Selected by Ruth Hodge


William Pooley – British nurse who went to Sierra Leone to help treat Ebola, caught Ebola himself, fought the virus back in the UK and then went back to Sierra Leone to continue his work. In a world where you become knighted for riding a bike, this guy should be made king. Also Geraldine O’Hara. An infectious diseases specialist who worked in a frontline clinic in Sierra Leone to fight Ebola and kept a diary for BBC Radio 4. Selected by Gary Page and Joe Haddow

I would go out on a limb and say John Oliver. This article perfectly sums up everything I feel about the show. And here’s an video example. Selected by Desmond Chan and Peter Watts

Scott Ludlam’s hair. Selected by Joel Anderson

I feel a little strange writing this, because it obviously needs a lot more in-depth thought, but I couldn’t help but place Robin Williams as my hero of the year. See how weird that reads? A dead guy as my ‘hero of the year’. But I see the death of our favourite goofy uncle, Robin Williams as a reminder of how even the most visibly happy and humorous people can be an endless inescapable pit of darkness. There obviously was no point of return for this genius, and when I heard of the news I was heartbroken. I was also heartbroken for the people around me, because he was so much involved with our cinematic lives growing up as children, we saw Robin as one of the family. But mental illness and depression that later leads to suicide has been seen in the past as selfish and sinful. I see it more as an act of bravery, surety and control and I admire him for that. Robin has taught the world many things from his passing, and awareness and talking about depression is the very first step. Vale Robin Williams. Selected by Melissa Barrass

Lydia Cacho for being the most bad-arse and brave chick alive (Mexican journalist who uncovered major pedophile ring).  Selected by Harriet Cheney

My housemate’s boyfriend who, on the weekends, provides us all day breakfast: crispy bacon, thick white bread toast dripping with butter, and, almost religiously, the Pitch Perfect soundtrack. Selected by Ruth Hodge

Jake Gyllenhaal. His lead in Nightcrawler was unexpectedly powerful. His understated performance in the car chase scene was the best of the year. Selected by Matt Lengren

Tori Amos. Selected by Jack Colwell

Jimmy Fallon. Selected by Liana Gow Killingbeck

Garfi the peeved Persion Cat. He never seems pleased about anything. He knows what’s up. Selected by Addy Fong

This is a little self-involved, but I nominate my old mate Julia Stone as my hero. Why? Well, simply because she mentions me in one of her songs on the new album (at the 3-minute mark of the clip below). Yeah, I feel like a bit of a knob for bragging about it here when most other contributors have chosen someone incredibly worthy as their hero but, fuck it, she sung about me and that’s pretty fucking cool, I reckon.  Selected by Bobby Townsend 

Taylor Swift because 1989 is pop perfection.  Selected by Harriet Cheney and Tammy Potakh

All those brave people who protect those who can’t protect themselves. In any pursuit – whether it’s artists, journalists, humanitarian workers or civilians brave enough to tell their story and invoke a response that marks change for the many thing that aren’t right with the world.  Selected by Rose Ashton and Tenley Nordstrom

I nominate all the women surviving and trying in their own significant ways to change the brutality and barbaric treatment they’re inflicted at the hands of men within their own cultures. Selected by Golden Lady 

The collective of people who help ladies with prams off the trams and buses. Not enough people do that anymore. Get off your asses. Selected by Kaya Strehler

Who were your heroes or zeros of 2014? Tell us in the comments section.

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