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Articles Archive for July 2016

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[30 Jul 2016 | No Comment | 231 views ]

Book Review
‘Flagship’: The Cruiser HMAS Australia II and the Pacific War on Japan
By Mike Carlton
William Heinemann Australia, 642pp, $49.99 (HB)
Author and broadcaster Mike Carlton has a lifelong commitment to Australian naval history. ‘Flagship’ is his third book in a magnificent four-part series that began with ‘Cruiser’ (2011), continued with ‘First Victory’ (2014) and which will end with a final, so far untitled work that is yet to be completed.
‘Flagship’ deals with HMAS Australia II, a ship fast, spacious and modern by the standard of the times. It centres on the …

Columns »

[23 Jul 2016 | 2 Comments | 212 views ]

The tragic situation of Harriet Wran, daughter of the late NSW Labor premier, Neville Wran, recently received saturation media coverage. Spiralling problems with ice ended with Ms Wran pleading guilty to accessory after the fact of murder and robbery in company.
In the sentence hearings in court, Harriet Wran revealed the personal demons she has been fighting for many years. She will not be the last person to turn to alcohol and other drugs to get relief from personal demons only to find heaven in the short term and hell in …

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[16 Jul 2016 | No Comment | 298 views ]

Whole Wild World
NEWSOUTH, $29.99
According to Walkley Award-winning journalist Tom Dusevic, plying his trade is a demanding business, rather like bricklaying with a deadline. Dusevic usefully puts it thus: “Sentences are laid down like courses, one on top of the other, aiming for plumb on shaky ground.”
As those of us who have crafted a memoir know, conjuring up a sustained exploration of one’s past, including that of one’s parents and siblings, is an even more difficult task.
Set in suburban Sydney in the 1960s and 1970s, Dusevic’s memoir tries to …

Columns »

[12 Jul 2016 | 2 Comments | 183 views ]

You don’t politically execute prime ministers and not pay a price , as Julia Gillard, Kevin Rudd , and now Malcolm Turnbull have all discovered. There is not the slightest doubt that the drop in the Liberal National coalition’s primary vote and the spike in support for conservative micro-parties owes much to dismay at what the Liberal Party did to the person who had led them into government.
“He was elected by the people and should have been judged by the people,” was Tony Abbott’s lethal response to Rudd’s political …

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[9 Jul 2016 | No Comment | 271 views ]

The Man on the Twenty Dollar Notes: Flynn of the Inland
By Everald Compton
Xlibris, 247pp, $29.99
Decades ago, when I was a student at Melbourne High School, I was entranced by reading a battered biography of John Flynn, founder of the Royal Flying Doctor Service. First published in 1932, ‘Flynn of the Inland’ was written by that vastly underrated Australian writer, Ion Idriess.
Now, 84 years and eight books about him later, yet another biography of Flynn, who was born at Moliagul, central Victoria in 1880, has seen the light of day. Self-published …

Columns »

[2 Jul 2016 | No Comment | 219 views ]

Celebrity independents and a ­hostile crossbench are poised to stymie Malcolm Turnbull’s key election promises to cut company tax and restore the building industry watchdog if he wins today’s election, thwarting the Prime Minister’s intention of the double- dissolution election.
As voters abandon the major parties for indepe­ndents, voting reforms appear unlikely to end the horsetrading and chaos in the Senate, which could cruel the ­Coalition’s chances of passing its centrepiece promises.
As Mr Turnbull used his last day of campaigning to call again for stability and a vote for the …