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[30 Dec 2021 | No Comment | 45 views ]

Not long ago, federal Education Minister Alan Tudge wondered out loud whether today’s school kids would be willing to fight for a country they’d been taught not to believe in.

It’s a fair question: why would young people be willing to risk their lives for an Australia they’d been taught to believe was fundamentally illegitimate, had a sub-optimal culture and was helping to destroy the planet by exporting coal to the wider world?
Yet that’s the intellectual subtext for every course these days, given the national curriculum’s insistence that all …

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[9 Dec 2021 | No Comment | 49 views ]

By Ross Fitzgerald
He’s the man who would be king, but Josh Frydenberg originally wanted to be a tennis pro rather than a politician. No doubt we will be going through his biography with a fine-tooth-comb if he eventually takes over as Liberal party leader.
If he does, he could become Australia’s first Jewish Prime Minister. His ascendancy is not guaranteed however because we all know that politics is an uncertain game. Frankly, who thought Scott Morrison would ever be PM?
After leaving school at Mount Scopus College, Frydenberg trained at a tennis …

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[3 Dec 2021 | No Comment | 49 views ]

In terms of damage, alcohol is society’s most dangerous drug.
Helen Trinca makes it clear how integral alcohol is to socialising in the workplace, including Parliament House (“Welcome to the house of blokes, booze and bullies” (12/2)

She rightly supports Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins, who wants alcohol policies implemented “with a view to restricting availability in line with work health and safety obligations, and the principle of harm minimisation.”

Our policy priorities are wrong-headed. How stupid it is, for example, that during our lockdowns , bottle shops were regarded as essential services …

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[27 Nov 2021 | No Comment | 47 views ]

By Ross Fitzgerald, Ian McFadyen
Hybrid Publishers,  Fiction
200pp, $24.99

Reviewed by Cheryl Akle

Ross Fitzgerald and Ian McFadyen team up again to write the 8th book in their amusing Grafton Everest series.

When we last saw Dr Professor Grafton Everest, he’d become President of the Republic of Australia, spending most of his term on a goodwill tour of the US.

In The Lowest Depths he’s the ex-president, his wife has left him to travel, and he’s caught up in a web of trouble and intrigue. An assignment with the UN results in some interesting information …

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[6 Sep 2021 | No Comment | 55 views ]


The Collingwood Magpies desperately need a coach of the calibre of newly appointed Craig McRae. Nicknamed “Fly”, McRae featured prominently in my warts and all study of the 1995 footy season in which Brisbane made the AFL finals for the first time. McRae’s nickname derived from the fact he was such a nuisance to opposing players.

   McRae, who in 1995 kicked 28 goals, was one of only five Brisbane Bears players that year to appear in all 23 games. He wore the number four guernsey for the Bears …

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[23 Aug 2021 | No Comment | 66 views ]

As the NSW Premier will soon announce all citizens of the state who have both shots of a vaccine will be given more freedom, surely now is the time for the lifesaving meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous to be regarded as essential services, at least for those who have had both jabs. It strikes me as extremely wrongheaded for liquor outlets and for psychologists running group therapy sessions to be regarded as essential services, yet actual meetings of AA and NA are not. Meeting on Zoom is no …

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[4 Aug 2021 | No Comment | 30 views ]

I need to correct Byam Wight (Letters, 1 August).

The award-winning biography of Alan Reid which I co-authored with Stephen Holt in 2010 provides a documented account of how the 36 Faceless Men photographs were taken at the Hotel Kingston in 1963. Our account shows how Reid got his friend and fellow angler Val Paral to take and process the photographs.

All of this happened outside of regular office hours. None of Paral’s colleagues at the John Curtin School of Medical Research were aware of what was going on.
Professor Ross Fitzgerald AM, Redfern, …

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[30 Jun 2021 | No Comment | 74 views ]

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; …

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[13 May 2021 | No Comment | 57 views ]

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 …

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[30 Mar 2021 | No Comment | 77 views ]

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 …

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[19 Mar 2021 | No Comment | 93 views ]

A Maoist, an anarchist and a Trotskyist walk into a bar. Make that a book. Add communists, socialists, feminists, two lesbians, a gay man, and three Indigenous activists; all appear in Radicals.

Sydney-based Meredith Burgmann and Nadia Wheatley are contributing editors of this often intriguing book they have dedicated to “all those comrades who were part of the radical Sixties” and who, “despite their differences, fought for a better world”.
Rather idiosyncratically, this critical decade is defined by Burgmann and Wheatley “as roughly spanning the years between 1965 and 1975”. In …