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Articles Archive for March 2013

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[30 Mar 2013 | No Comment | 1,990 views ]

MARK Bracegirdle was born in London on September 10, 1912. On Boxing Day 15 years later, he and his younger brother and their artistic mother, Ina, a suffragette and divorcee, arrived in Sydney, their move to Australia having been sponsored by the Salvation Army Migration Scheme.
A year later, Bracegirdle became a member of the Young Communist League, itself part of the recently formed Communist Party of Australia. However, his membership of the YCL may not have been widely known to Australian intelligence.
On April 4, 1936, Bracegirdle arrived by ship, the …

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[30 Mar 2013 | One Comment | 2,819 views ]

IN his address to the Sydney Institute on March 15, Tony Abbott announced that if he wins the federal election in September, “Australia will have a prime minister for indigenous affairs”.
He explained that all government agencies working on issues to do with Aboriginal Australia would in his new administration report to the Office of Prime Minister and Cabinet.
The energetic Opposition Leader regularly spends one week each year doing volunteer work in remote communities in the Northern Territory and the fact that he allocated a full one-hour address to indigenous issues …

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[28 Mar 2013 | 3 Comments | 5,694 views ]

In a world of instant global connection, regional university fiefdoms need educating, writes ROSS FITZGERALD
Here’s something about which Craig Emerson, the new federal Minister for Tertiary Education, may care to ponder. On close examination, it seems that the Australian Regional Universities Network has things both right and wrong.
RUN is right to highlight the importance of our universities to regional Australia, but wrong in stressing supposed regional economic impact as their key indicator of success.
On the face of it, $2.1billion in gross domestic product, $1.2billion in household income, and …

Columns »

[22 Mar 2013 | No Comment | 1,672 views ]

Fifty years ago today, ‘The Canberra Times’ shed some fascinating light on the debut performance of the Australian Labor Party’s famed faceless men.
The notion that faceless forces control the ALP is deep seated. In its present form it originated in the wake of a special meeting, back in March 1963, of Labor’s federal party conference in Canberra. The special conference was called to decide party policy on a proposed US radio communications base at Exmouth Gulf in Western Australia. After meeting for over three days at Canberra’s Hotel Kingston, the …

Columns »

[16 Mar 2013 | No Comment | 1,520 views ]

AS the federal election date looms, there will be a heightened interest in Tony Abbott and his leadership team.
A defining feature of Australian politics has been the partnerships where two strong personalities have come together to complement each other in a way that means the combination is greater than the sum of the individuals.
Australia’s longest serving prime minister Robert Menzies had a close relationship with his immigration minister Harold Holt, who went on to be treasurer during the latter half of Menzies’ government and succeeded him as PM. As a …

Columns »

[15 Mar 2013 | One Comment | 4,899 views ]

Julia Gillard could take a leaf out of Peter Beattie’s book, writes ROSS
Accepting full responsibility for Labor’s devastating loss which occurred in Queensland on March 24 last year was an unusual thing for former premier Peter Beattie to do. But that is exactly what he did in a front-page story in Brisbane’s ‘Courier-Mail’ last Friday. It headlined with: ”It’s my fault” and a huge photograph of Beattie.
I have followed Beattie’s political career for more than 30 years and know that would not have been easy for him to do, …

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[9 Mar 2013 | One Comment | 5,169 views ]

For years, the Scottish-born Jill Stark, who had her first sip of beer
at 13, was a binge-drinking health reporter. During the week, she wrote
about Australia’s alcohol-soaked culture for Melbourne’s ‘The Age’ and ‘The Sunday Age’. At the weekends, she usually wrote herself off.

Subtitled “My year without booze, ‘High Sobriety’ is a brave and lively memoir charting Stark’s tumultuous 12 months on the wagon
which was prompted by a massive hangover at the age of 35. As Stark
recounts it, despite all the difficulties and the many internal and
external pressures, an alcohol-free 2011 …

Columns »

[2 Mar 2013 | No Comment | 2,814 views ]

These days Opposition Treasury spokesman Joe Hockey steps 25kg lighter and appears to be losing more weight by the week. This is a startling transformation for the person John Howard once described as a “big bear of a man” and whom Labor regularly taunted as being “Sloppy Joe”.
Hockey is transforming in more ways than one, with his focus firmly fixed on the job of treasurer should the Coalition win the September 14 election. Few of his predecessors would be better prepared for the role than the member for North Sydney.
After …