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Articles Archive for August 2012

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[25 Aug 2012 | No Comment | 2,275 views ]

THE four-day battle for Lone Pine, on the Gallipoli Peninsula, was arguably the most brutal fought by our troops in any war.
From August 6 to August 9, 1915, close to 2800 Australians were slaughtered in hand-to-hand fighting and trench warfare, while Turkish deaths at Lone Pine were at least double that.
It is, as David W. Cameron concedes here, impossible to write any meaningful history of Lone Pine without continually referring to Volume 2 of Charles Bean’s The Official History of Australia in the War of 1914-1918.
Nevertheless, in this first book …

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[25 Aug 2012 | No Comment | 858 views ]

LAST September, with some fanfare, Julia Gillard promised by mid-2012 she would present a white paper on Australia in the Asian century. We are still waiting.
There is speculation its chairman Ken Henry and his team prepared a draft but it was sent back for a rework.
Whatever its fate, the federal government’s blueprint is a keenly sought addition to Australia’s engagement with Asia. This is because, effectively, Australia has no choice but to bet its future on the Asian century.
With two decades of economic instability looming in Europe and the US, …

Columns »

[11 Aug 2012 | No Comment | 571 views ]

STATE of Origin football is long dead in the Australian Football League. A thriving national competition and the reluctance of clubs to share top players for what seemed to be a near meaningless pursuit saw the state versus state exhibition brought to an end.
This is in stark contrast to the National Rugby League, where representative competition remains the pinnacle of the sport.
The AFL and its clubs are right in ignoring calls to resurrect state-based representative football and tonight at ANZ Stadium, when my beloved team, the mighty Collingwood, clash with …

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[5 Aug 2012 | No Comment | 538 views ]

MEMBERS of the British Australian New Zealand Antarctic Research Expedition of 1929-31 led by Douglas Mawson claim Proclamation Island for Britain in 1930. Picture: Frank Hurley, courtesy of the National Archives. Source: Supplied
IT now seems clear that, on January 28, 1820, Russian captain Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen and his colleagues were the first humans to sight the Antarctic coast.
“Words cannot describe the delight which appeared on all our faces, at the cry of ‘Land! Land!’ ” Bellingshausen wrote.

This after a “long monotonous voyage, amidst unceasing dangers from ice, snow, rain, …

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[5 Aug 2012 | No Comment | 661 views ]

Author and academic Ross Fitzgerald talks about his favourite books
Heartland – Mort Sahl
The Canadian-born Mort Sahl taught me that true satirists should have a go at everyone. After fierce attacks on American political figures and insisting the official version of President Kennedy’s assassination was a cover-up, Sahl was effectively blacklisted. His bitter account of his fall from grace is central to Heartland, published in 1976. Sahl mercilessly attacks the powerful.
John Barleycorn – Jack London
When I was a student at Monash University, a member of Alcoholics Anonymous gave me a copy …

Columns »

[4 Aug 2012 | No Comment | 2,266 views ]

AT some point soon the penny will drop for most of the federal Labor caucus. Julia Gillard will not be leading them out of the wilderness into which she has taken them.
Like a doomed traveller lost in the desert, the Prime Minister is on a constant search for the oasis that might deliver her from danger, but her flawed judgment constantly takes her off in pursuit of yet another mirage.
Thus far, Gillard’s dispirited colleagues have trudged along behind her, glumly content with her constant reassurances that things will soon turn …