• Ross & Lyndal celebrate their 42nd wedding anniversary
  • Ross, Emerald and Ava.
    Ross, Emerald and Ava.
  • Ross and Lyndal
  • Ross with Archibald Prize winning Australian artist John Olsen
    Ross with Archibald Prize winning Australian artist John Olsen
  • Lyndal, Emerald and Adrian with our grandchild, Ava
  • Ross's dog Maddie
  • Ross and Lyndal's 40th anniversary
  • Daughter Emerald with our grandchild Ava
  • Standing for the Senate in NSW with The Australian Sex Party
  • Ross becomes a member of The Order of Australia.
  • Ross with Gerry Adams, President of Sinn Féin.
    Ross with Gerry Adams, President of Sinn Féin.

Reviews »

[15 Dec 2018 | No Comment | 4 views ]

Review
‘Mutiny on the Bounty’
By Peter FitzSimons
Hachette Australia, 613pp, $49.99 (HB)
‘Mutiny, Mayhem, Mythology: Bounty’s Enigmatic Voyage’
By Alan Frost
Sydney University Press, 336pp, $40
‘By Sea & Stars: The Story of the First Fleet’
By Trent Dalton
Fourth Estate, 138pp, $24.99 (HB)
by ROSS FITZGERALD
It’s an epic tale of human frailty and alleged tyranny that has fascinated us for two centuries. The mutiny on the Bounty may have occurred in a remote part of the western Pacific on April 28, 1789, but it is well known and not just by history buffs.
The Bounty continues …

Columns »

[12 Dec 2018 | No Comment | 8 views ]

by ROSS FITZGERALD
Is former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull a wronged hero, as he obviously thinks he is? Was he a brilliant businessman who never really made the transition to politics, as some of his erstwhile admirers think? Or was he a dud who would have been better off in the Australian Labor Party, as some conservative Liberals think?
Right now, almost everyone has an opinion about our 29th prime minister but, as time passes, it will be the facts that shape history’s judgments. Here’s my stab at how history will …

Reviews »

[8 Dec 2018 | No Comment | 8 views ]

Review:
‘King of the Air: The Turbulent Life of Charles Kingsford Smith’
By Ann Blainey
Black Inc, 377pp, $49.99 (HB)
by Ross Fitzgerald
If you happen to be in Brisbane rushing to or from the airport, take a slight detour on Airport Drive and have a look at the Kingsford Smith Memorial. It’s a hidden treasure that most travellers pass by.
Dedicated to our greatest aviator, Charles Kingsford Smith, the memorial features his preserved Southern Cross aeroplane. Brisbane Airport is a custodian of this important relic for the commonwealth and the memorial is free …

Columns »

[8 Dec 2018 | No Comment | 14 views ]

by Kate Legge
I was interstate when my elderly neighbour Sid rang. Fire, burglary or dead cat immediately crossed my mind. “There’s a guy looking for you,” Sid informed me with a paternal air. “He reckons he did some work on your house 13 years ago. Says he overcharged you. He’s left his number.” We both wondered at an ulterior motive. Who owns up to financial deceit more than a decade after the fact, unless they’ve been dragged before a royal commission?
The algorithms in my brain began wheezing like an early-model …

Reviews »

[1 Dec 2018 | No Comment | 7 views ]

Review
‘Honeysuckle Creek: The Story of Tom Reid, a Little Dish and Neil Armstrong’s First Step’
By Andrew Tink
NewSouth, 264pp, $34.99
by ROSS FITZGERALD
Stories about the first men on the moon continue to attract our attention. Those of us who were alive at the time probably remember exact­ly where we were and what we were doing when the Apollo 11 moon mission’s lunar module ‘Eagle’ landed on July 20, 1969, at 20:17 UTC.
This story is on screen at the moment in the moving film ‘First Man’ starring Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong, the …

Reviews »

[1 Dec 2018 | No Comment | 11 views ]

Review
‘John Curtin’s War. Volume II: Triumph and Decline’
John Edwards
​Viking, $49.99
by ROSS FITZGERALD
History has a surprising way of coming up with individuals who seem able to face momentous challenges on behalf of us all. As we used to say, cometh the hour, cometh the man.
Britain had Winston Churchill when it needed him and we had John Curtin. The first volume of John Edwards highly accessible John Curtin’s War showed us how Curtin was the right man at the right time, even if – like all of us – at times he …

Columns »

[28 Nov 2018 | No Comment | 9 views ]

by Ross Fitzgerald
Stephen Harper, the former Canadian conservative prime minister, has been in Australia talking about politics and leadership in the age of disruption. Harper is the first senior political practi­tioner, as opposed to commentator, who has tried to make sense of where the conservative side of politics is headed in the age of Donald Trump and Brexit.
For eight years, until 2015, Harper ran an orthodox centre-right government cutting taxes, balancing budgets, signing free trade deals and maintaining high immigration. But he accepts that this won’t work any more. …

Reviews »

[19 Nov 2018 | No Comment | 19 views ]

Let Him Eat Cake
by Richard Laidlaw
Review of Ross Fitzgerald and Antony Funnell,’So Far, So Good : An Entertainment'(Hybrid Books, Melbourne, 2018)
IT must be very difficult being a political satirist these days. So many politicians, to a man and woman, get underfoot with plots that would outdo a Goon Show episode and leave their writers wringing their hands in frustration: Why couldn’t we think of that?
So we owe a deep debt of gratitude to Griffith University historian professor Ross Fitzgerald and ABC broadcaster Antony Funnell for giving us …

Columns »

[5 Nov 2018 | One Comment | 30 views ]

by ROSS FITZGERALD
It hasn’t taken the former prime minister long to work out that his successor had a role in his downfall. The spill vote against Malcolm Turnbull carried 45 to 40. The leadership vote went to Scott Morrison over Peter Dutton 45 to 40. Do the sums: Turnbull had 40 votes; Dutton had 40 votes; but Morrison had five votes that he first used against Turnbull and then added to Turnbull’s votes to make himself Prime Minister.
But that’s politics, as Turnbull should know, having played it …

Columns »

[15 Oct 2018 | No Comment | 39 views ]

BY ROSS FITZGERALD AND STEPHEN HOLT
Sins of political commission (alienating the base, for starters) and omission (standing for nothing other than ruinous energy prices) sealed the former PM’s political fate. But there was an element of bad luck as well. Rather than Sydney, he should have been born in Manhattan, island of the main-chancers.
Soon after the change of prime minister on August 24, Malcolm and Lucy Turnbull decamped to spend six weeks or so at their Upper West Side apartment …

Columns »

[11 Oct 2018 | No Comment | 32 views ]

by ROSS FITZGERALD
For the crucial Wentworth by-election on October 20, the high-profile independent Kerryn Phelps is currently in with a chance of beating the well-credentialed Liberal candidate, ex Australian ambassador to Israel, Dave Sharma.
This is why Labor is running dead in Wentworth. It is also a reason why some mischievous medicos and MPs have suggested to me that Dr Phelps might fall foul of the same constitutional issue that Labor said should disqualify Peter Dutton. Remember: Labor engaged a top QC to argue that the …