• Lyndal, Emerald, Ava & Ross at "Greystoke"
  • Ross Fitzgerald and Lyndal Moor at Catalins's on Valentines Day 2019
    Ross Fitzgerald and Lyndal Moor at Catalina's on Valentines Day 2019
  • Ross with comedian Barry Humphries. Sydney 2019.
  • Ross's 74th birthday
  • Ross & Lyndal celebrate their 42nd wedding anniversary
  • 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
  • Ross becomes a member of The Order of Australia.

Reviews »

[30 Jul 2021 | No Comment | 0 views ]

The Education of Young Donald Trilogy
By Donald Horne
NewSouth Books, 797pp, $39.99
reviewed by ROSS FITZGERALD
Donald Horne, who died in 2005 aged 83, wrote more than two dozen books, including The Lucky Country and one of the finest general histories of our nation, The Australian People.

Now, published in the centenary of Horne’s birth, comes a timely revisiting of his entertaining autobiographical trilogy, which enables us to re-evaluate the making of one of Australia’s leading writers and public intellectuals.
The Education of Young Donald Trilogy combines in a single volume The Education of Young …

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[2 Jul 2021 | No Comment | 15 views ]

by ROSS FITZGERALD

Given their life-saving work with alcoholics and other addicts, Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are undoubtedly essential services.
    In Ireland, the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) has recently decreed that AA and NA are both essential services. Surely, here in Australia, as a matter of urgency,  our PM, premiers and leaders of local government should be doing the same.
        Professor Ross Fitzgerald AM, Redfern

The Daily Telegraph, July 2, 2021, Letters, p 86.

No AA is not OK

Professor Ross Fitzgerald’s call (Letters, 2/7 to regard Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings as essential …

Reviews »

[2 Jul 2021 | No Comment | 10 views ]

Semut: The Untold Story of a Secret Australian Operation in WWII Borneo

By Christine Helliwell
Michael Joseph, 562pp, $34.99 (PB)
Reviewed by ROSS FITZGERALD
Tales of heroism from World War II keep coming and in hindsight they seem more incredible than ever. What strikes me in this age of risk averseness is the courage of so many under duress. Semut is one of those stories, untold until now.
It involves an operation in late March 1945 when eight Allied operatives, in two groups of four, most of them young Australians, parachuted into the Japanese-occupied island …

Columns »

[30 Jun 2021 | No Comment | 19 views ]

by ROSS FITZGERALD
At the National Press Club in Canberra at the start of the year, Scott Morrison said the government’s main task this year would be getting everyone vaccinated so life could return to normal. Well, the year’s half over yet life is as disrupted as ever; and with scarcely a third of Australians with their first shot, and scarcely 5 per cent fully vaccinated, there’s no end in sight.

Initially, the problem was that we didn’t have enough vaccines. Now the problem is we don’t have enough of the “right” vaccine; …

Reviews »

[31 May 2021 | No Comment | 26 views ]

Mutineers: A True Story of Heroes and Villains
By Robert Hadler

Wilkinson Publishing, 320pp, $29.99, PB
Reviewed by ROSS FITZGERALD
Any tale of mutiny on the high seas is bound to get some attention. In fact, one of the most famous stories in maritime history was about a mutiny, the one on the Bounty under Captain William Bligh.
But mutinies didn’t just happen in the days of sail and many people wouldn’t be aware that just after the Great War, we had our own naval mutiny – in Fremantle.
Melbourne-based Robert Hadler’s latest tale of derring-do, …

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[27 May 2021 | No Comment | 14 views ]

by ROSS FITZGERALD
I’ve been heartened by the support I’ve received for my call in The Australian (25/5/21 p 10) for my beloved Collingwood Magpies to appoint a new coach.

This is a matter of some urgency.
Our performance so far this season is as bad, if not worse, than in 1976 when Collingwood finished last on the ladder.

But in 1977, when the legendary Tom Hafey took over as Collingwood’s coach, the Magpies turned things around, finished first on the ladder, and played in a dramatic drawn grand final with North Melbourne.
 
These days, our …

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[25 May 2021 | No Comment | 18 views ]

by ROSS FITZGERALD
As a lifelong Collingwood supporter and the author of four books about Australian Rules football, it is blindingly obvious to me that, as well as having removed Eddie McGuire as the Magpies president, we urgently need a new coach.
It is utterly bizarre that there is even talk in the club about extending Nathan Buckley’s contract for another two years.

Ross Fitzgerald, Redfern, NSW
Last Post
Letters to the editor, The Australian, May 25, 2021, p 10.

Columns »

[13 May 2021 | No Comment | 15 views ]

by ROSS FITZGERALD
There were a heap of euphoric headlines in response to the federal budget. And what’s not to like in a budget that spends more money on just about everything, including much more on aged care, disability care, childcare, and the unemployed? The only noticeable lack of enthusiasm came from a few fiscal conservatives who persist in thinking that budget responsibility is what distinguishes the Liberals and Nationals from the Labor Party.
This really was an extraordinary budget coming from a government that had campaigned against its predecessor’s “debt and deficit stretching …

Reviews »

[12 May 2021 | No Comment | 19 views ]

The Gypsy Economist: The Life and Times of Colin Clark

By Alex Millmow
Palgrave Macmillan, 396pp, $135 (HB), $80 e-book
Review by ROSS FITZGERALD
The name may not ring a bell but more people should know about Colin Clark. Why? Well, for one thing Clark is the person who pioneered the use of gross national product as the basis for studying national economies, and that alone makes him an important figure.
Author Alex Millmow has produced the first biography of Clark, the Anglo-Australian economist whose work in the area of applied economics, economic theory and …

Reviews »

[16 Apr 2021 | No Comment | 56 views ]

THE EMPEROR’S GRACE:
Untold Stories of the Australians Enslaved in Japan during World War II
By Mark Baker,
Monash University Publishing, 223pp, $34.95 (PB)

Review by ROSS FITZGERALD

Many of us are aware of the obscenities of the Thai–Burma Railway and of the notorious Sandakan prisoner-of-war camp established by the Japanese in Borneo.
   But until the publication of Mark Baker’s latest offering, The Emperor’s Grace,  little has been known about thousands of Australians who were sent to work as slave labourers in the factories and mines of Japan during World War 11.
   Ideally suited to …

Columns »

[30 Mar 2021 | No Comment | 42 views ]

by ROSS FITZGERALD
It’s my observation that most women come at politics from a fundamentally different perspective than men – as they do with career, relationships, sex and even driving cars. Generally, they do it with less rancour, without abusing men and without sexist language. Despite this, many women in federal politics have now come forward with mind-numbing stories of sexist and misogynist behaviour. However, some of the worst behaviour is seen at state and local government level, beyond the scrutiny of the federal parliamentary press gallery. 
After recently casting her deciding …