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Articles Archive for August 2016

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[27 Aug 2016 | No Comment | 144 views ]

1787: The Lost Chapters of Australia’s Beginnings
In many history books, including some of my earlier works, the time before European settlement of Australia is often presented as a prefatory chapter that begins 50,000 years before the present. In such accounts it is only when the so-called “Dreamtime” finishes that a history proper is seen to begin.
As a result, a great slab of past human experience is, as Nick Brodie explains, “relegated to archaeology and hermetically sealed by the founding of a British colony”. But, as Brodie maintains, …

Columns »

[24 Aug 2016 | One Comment | 167 views ]

Malcolm Turnbull’s friends and supporters thought that once he was prime minister in his own right, all would be well. The dithering and the waffling would stop and he’d be the leader everyone hoped for when he seized the prime ministership from Tony Abbott.
Maybe the narrowest of wins has shattered Turnbull’s self-confidence. One Liberal campaign insider is now describing him to confidants as a “broken man”. Effective leaders learn from setbacks; they’re not overwhelmed by them. But, on the evidence so far, our country is in for three years …

Columns »

[11 Aug 2016 | No Comment | 117 views ]

Australia could learn a lot from the fact that a number of American cities are successfully reducing the role of criminalisation in their drug policies.
This is something that should be addressed at the Drug Summit in Sydney today.
This cross-party summit, to be held at Parliament House in Macquarie Street, will consider the context of the illicit drug policy and evaluate its efficacy. In particular, the summit will debate the merits of harm-minimisation and highlight new strategies to deal with the scourge of drug misuse and addiction.
Seattle and King County in …

Columns »

[2 Aug 2016 | One Comment | 144 views ]

There were three items for the first meeting of the new Turnbull cabinet: the cliff-hanger federal election, the response to Four Corners’ teenage detention revelations, and Kevin Rudd. And so the Coalition government has started as it seems doomed to continue: reacting badly to events and to other people’s agendas.
It’s increasingly obvious that Malcolm Turnbull’s desperation to be prime minister was not matched by any particular vision for the country. After deposing his predecessor, he spent nine months raising subjects before ruling them out; and the “economic plan” he referred …