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[21 Feb 2024 | No Comment | ]

Help is there if it is needed
   Like many readers I have been following the Barnaby Joyce story with interest. Perhaps more interest than some, for a number of reasons.
I must say that I find it disgusting that whoever filmed this video of a well-known Federal MP collapsed on a main street in Canberra did not have the decency to offer him some assistance. Is this how people behave in the age of social media?
Barnaby Joyce was candid about his situation and admitted that alcohol was a factor in his …

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[9 Jan 2024 | No Comment | ]

Foreign tongues: can dogs tell the difference?by ROSS FITZGERALDDogs… “Surely people and their dogs can communicate with each other, not merely by gestures, but by speech as well,” wonders Ross Fitzgerald. As an ardent owner of two West Highland white terriers ROSS FITZGERALD wonders if dogs can understand different languages and distinguish between them.   I TAUGHT my West Highland terriers Belle and Maddie in English to “sit”, “fetch”, “stay”, “roll over” and “come back”, but what would happen if we went to live in Russia and I spoke to them …

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[24 Dec 2023 | No Comment | ]

It’s flooding in North Queensland. More than two metres of water has fallen in a week. Crocodiles are swimming through the streets. People are warned not to wear thongs in the clean-up. The Australian Defence Force has been brought in, and the days-old premier, Steven Miles, is on the ground making the regular flood speeches about mateship, bravery, the Queensland spirit and why the weather bureau didn’t predict the rain event.ueensland politicians can be made or unmade by disasters: as if the cyclones, storms, heatwaves, pandemics and bushfires might be …

Columns, Uncategorised »

[5 Dec 2023 | No Comment | ]

Cut durry damage by vaping
Although Sydney was once the epicentre of Australia’s HIV epidemic, it may soon become the first city in the world to effectively eliminate HIV transmission.
This remarkable achievement will be because of a focus on reducing the adverse consequences of risk rather than trying to reduce or eliminate it.
In other words, harm reduction. The result was the saving of many thousands of lives and billions of dollars.
Sadly, the outstanding success of Australia’s early efforts to control HIV is in stark contrast to Australian policy in …

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[2 Jul 2021 | No Comment | ]


Given their life-saving work with alcoholics and other addicts, Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are undoubtedly essential services.
    In Ireland, the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) has recently decreed that AA and NA are both essential services. Surely, here in Australia, as a matter of urgency,  our PM, premiers and leaders of local government should be doing the same.
        Professor Ross Fitzgerald AM, Redfern

The Daily Telegraph, July 2, 2021, Letters, p 86.

No AA is not OK

Professor Ross Fitzgerald’s call (Letters, 2/7 to regard Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings as essential …

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[27 May 2021 | No Comment | ]

I’ve been heartened by the support I’ve received for my call in The Australian (25/5/21 p 10) for my beloved Collingwood Magpies to appoint a new coach.

This is a matter of some urgency.
Our performance so far this season is as bad, if not worse, than in 1976 when Collingwood finished last on the ladder.

But in 1977, when the legendary Tom Hafey took over as Collingwood’s coach, the Magpies turned things around, finished first on the ladder, and played in a dramatic drawn grand final with North Melbourne.
These days, our …

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[25 May 2021 | No Comment | ]

As a lifelong Collingwood supporter and the author of four books about Australian Rules football, it is blindingly obvious to me that, as well as having removed Eddie McGuire as the Magpies president, we urgently need a new coach.
It is utterly bizarre that there is even talk in the club about extending Nathan Buckley’s contract for another two years.

Ross Fitzgerald, Redfern, NSW
Last Post
Letters to the editor, The Australian, May 25, 2021, p 10.

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[18 Feb 2019 | No Comment | ]

Too-clever Shorten has given his political rivals a potential election-winning issueby Ross Fitzgerald Bill Shorten was too clever by half last week, and in more ways than people have yet noticed. By giving doctors the right to order boatpeople to Australia for medical assessment, he’s watered down Australia’s tough border protection regime, made deaths at sea more likely and drawn attention to an issue that’s the Coalition’s strength and Labor’s weakness.He’s put national security at risk just to win a vote on the floor of the federal parliament and embarrass the government. …

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[29 Jan 2019 | No Comment | ]

Voters are in a punishing mood but Labor’s tax plans will punish us all


Having spent the Australia Day weekend declaring what a wonderful country we have, we can now go back to denouncing as incompetent rogues the people who have led it.

Our tendency to assert our country’s surpassing magnificence while excoriating as a class the people who have been in charge is odd. We love our country but we are not so keen on its political leaders, and, at least in recent times, can’t wait to show them the …

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[27 Jan 2019 | No Comment | ]

Books that changed me

Ross Fitzgerald is the author of 40 books, most recently ‘So Far, So Good’, co-written with Antony Funnell and published by Hybrid.


While attending St Mark’s Anglican Church in Brighton in Melbourne in the 1950s, I started reading ‘The King James Version of the Bible.’ This inspiring translation had a huge impact on my appreciation of the wonders of the English language and the possibilities of reading and writing about history. Although I have been a devout atheist for decades, reading the King James Bible …

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[24 Jan 2019 | No Comment | ]

       Is our democracy up for grabs?

            by  ROSS FITZGERALD

   Is it possible to buy your way into the federal parliament? It seems that we are about to find out via restored rich-lister Clive Palmer’s absolutely unprecedented multi-million dollar advertising barrage for a return to the parliament he so ignominiously exited just three years ago.

Exactly how much MPs and political parties spend in order to help get themselves elected is quite hard to pin down. There are the spending returns that registered parties are required to lodge with the Australian Electoral Commission that …