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Category Archives: Tributes
Bob Hawke did not suffer from false modesty. He always knew he was the smartest person in the room – and, unlike many egoists, he was usually right, which is saying something, given the stellar ministry over which he presided … Continue reading
Bob Hawke’s lasting monument is the Australian society of today. A modern open economy, which he skippered out of sheltered waters, for good or ill, mostly good, into the open sea. Reformed national institutions, some now, sadly, in poor shape … Continue reading
Sir John Monash was a visionary engineer, military leader and much more, who succeeded in spite of the prejudices of the conservative Melbourne establishment (read: The Coalition right wing), to become, in Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery’s view, “the best general … Continue reading
“Well, they killed King.” The matter-of-fact statement hung in the air of the kitchen where a roomful of women—including my mother (I was the lone child)—had gathered on that April day in 1968 to learn to make hot tamales for … Continue reading
JENNY HOCKING. The Best of 2018: Royal distortions of history: why the Queen’s secret “Palace letters” about Gough Whitlam’s dismissal should be released.
The long-running ‘Palace letters’ case over the Queen’s secret correspondence regarding the 1975 dismissal of Prime Minister Gough Whitlam heads back to court on Wednesday 28 November, with an appeal hearing before the full bench of the Federal Court in … Continue reading
Francis Sutherland Hambly, the doyen of university education in Australia, died in Canberra on 21 November 2018, aged 83. Frank served the universities as Director and Secretary of the Australian Vice-Chancellor’s Committee (AVCC) from 1966 to 1996; indeed he personified … Continue reading
The Surafend massacre shows that the core business of good history must always be the preservation of memory.
An Advent tale about a small father-less family from South West Africa that has been granted asylum in Australia. This is their first Advent in a new country.
IAN BURNET. ‘Friends in Australia’ – a message from Sutan Sjahir, the Prime Minister of the newly declared Republic of Indonesia, November 1945.
On 17 August 1945 and two days after the Japanese surrender, Soekarno and Hatta unilaterally declared Indonesia’s Independence and became the first President and Vice President of the Republic of Indonesia.
ADAM WAKELING. Tokyo Trial: how an Australian judge sentenced a Japanese leader to death (ABC NEWS).
“Accused Hideki Tojo, on the counts of the indictment of which you have been convicted, the International Military Tribunal for the Far East sentences you to death by hanging.”
The women who tried to stop the slaughter; the vibrant young nation crushed; that a nation’s soul cannot be sponsored by arms manufacturers; the Australian war.
Can’t we see parallels in leadership today, both in the Church and in society, where it can easily get more enmeshed in its own self-importance and self-interest, than in the rights and the good of the ordinary people, whom they … Continue reading
Lest We Remember traces the history of how Australia was drawn into wars by the British and the Americans, and looks at how poorly the strategies had been thought out and how poorly the troops themselves have been treated. The … Continue reading
One hundred years ago ‘the guns fell silent’ or at least WWI ended. Since the end of the war to end all wars, however, 120 million more people have died as a result of armed conflict. Well might we remember, … Continue reading
What the astonishing Chiune Sugihara teaches us about moral heroism.
Freda Whitlam, a formidable educator and church leader, was principal of a prominent Sydney private girls school, helped establish the University of Western Sydney and the University of the Third Age, and became Moderator of the Uniting Church of Australia. … Continue reading
Graham revealed in his memoir that he wrote his first speech in Brisbane in May 1945, aged 10, at the time of VE Day, and delivered it to his mother. In 1946 he scored a job with ABC Radio reading … Continue reading
It was a quintessential Australian death. On 17 December 1967, Australia’s 17th prime minister, Harold Edward Holt, waded into the churning surf at Victoria’s Cheviot Beach, defying a swift current and a strong under-tow that left others in his party … Continue reading
When I visited Ken Inglis early last month, a few weeks before he died, I found him engrossed in the day’s edition of the Sunday Age. It was perhaps eighty years since he’d begun reading the papers as a schoolboy … Continue reading
John Tulloh’s post brought back memories of my Trans-Siberian train journey, some twenty-three years after his. He was there in 1967, and not a lot had changed when I was there in 1990, travelling in the reverse direction.
The separation of church and state was not a fetish of John Richard Johnson. He adored the Cross on Calvary. And rallied to The Light on The Hill.
Ian Marsh who passed away last week, was a highly original thinker with the genuine curiosity of a true intellectual. Ian liked to describe himself as one of the last ‘Deakinite Liberals’. This apt description reflected: Ian’s contributions to industrial … Continue reading
Pearls & Irritations advises the sad news that Albert Mispel, who was instrumental in getting this blog started (and indeed, suggested its name) has passed away. Albert had an exciting life during which he taught school in New Guinea, was … Continue reading
“The worst kind of bad social science, Stretton argues, purports to select the things to be explained, and the ways of explaining them, without resort to values and valuation”
Anne Deveson’ s media presence spearheaded the media’s involvement in public health and mental health. She contributed at so many levels – social commentaries and documentaries -which challenged our sensibilities.
The late Professor Des Ball of the Australian National University’s Strategic and Defence Studies Centre came as close as any on being a public intellectual on nuclear strategy. While some of his counterparts in the United States felt that using … Continue reading
New Mandala co-founder Nicholas Farrelly reflects on a remarkable and contentious reign. The 70-year reign of Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej started and ended inauspiciously. It was a family tragedy that unexpectedly brought Bhumibol to the throne. He went on to … Continue reading
This tribute is being published as a foreword to the book ‘Not just for this life’. Wendy Guest has put together all the tributes paid to Gough Whitlam in the House and the Senate in October 2014. This tribute to … Continue reading
The death of Brian Francis Johns, 79, in the early hours of New Years Day marked the end of one of the most impressive Australian media careers of the last half century. During this period Johns engaged in and excelled … Continue reading