Order of Australia

More details
 

Celebration

Queen's Birthday 2014
 

Lyndal and Ross

Christmas 2013
 

Ross and Emily

Christmas 2013
 

Book launch

Australia‘s Game
 

Archibald 2013

 

With Gerry Adams

 

My dog Maddie

 

With Austen Tayshus

 

Book launch

Alan "The Red Fox" Reid
 

Book launch

My Name is Ross
 

Lyndal and Ross

 

Columns »

[17 Nov 2014 | One Comment | 9 views ]

In the US mid term elections on November 4, voters in Oregon, Alaska and Washington DC, like voters in Colorado and Washington states back in 2012, passed ballot initiatives to start taxing and regulating recreational cannabis. Also in the 2014 elections, voters in California supported a very important ballot initiative to reduce the severity of penalties for drug offences. This initiative is expected to substantially reduce the very high incarceration rate in the most populous state of the union. It is now clear that voters in the US are growing …

Books »

[15 Nov 2014 | No Comment | 4 views ]

Review of ‘Peacemongers’
By Barry Hill
UQP, 676pp, $45 (HB)
BARRY Hill and I share at least one thing in common: an abiding admiration for Indian poet, novelist, ­philosopher and playwright Rabindranath Tagore. Born in 1861 in Calcutta (now Kolkata, West Bengal), Tagore died in 1941, a few months before the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.
A friend of Albert Einstein, Jawaharlal Nehru and Mohandas Gandhi, Tagore was one of the world’s great public intellectuals, an early leader of India’s nationalist movement and, in 1913, the first Asian to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. …

Columns »

[11 Nov 2014 | No Comment | 15 views ]

Retired Supreme Court judge and former corruption inquiry head Tony Fitzgerald has described former Queensland premier Wayne Goss as a man of “uncompromising integrity”.
Mr Goss implemented the reforms Mr Fitzgerald recommended in his 1989 landmark report into Queensland police corruption.
The report’s findings of entrenched corruptions led to an election which swept away of 32 years of conservative Queensland government.
“Wayne Goss was a man of uncompromising integrity and an outstanding Queenslander whom I greatly admired,” Mr Fitzgerald said.
“We first met when I held a few meetings with him and the other …

Columns »

[8 Nov 2014 | No Comment | 26 views ]

“RUSSIANS are shits. They always have been shits. They always will be shits. If you understand that, boys, you can understand foreign policy!”
This is what our biology teacher, Norton Hobson, a strongly anti-communist ex-communist, said to us at Melbourne High School in 1960.
Although somewhat of a caricature, Mr Hobson’s pithy statement contains at least an element of truth, which Tony Abbott might keep in mind when he meets President Vladimir Putin at next Saturday’s G20 leaders summit in Brisbane.
Because the G20 is a consensus-based forum, any decision to ban the …

Columns »

[25 Oct 2014 | No Comment | 25 views ]

FOR three or four decades Australia has been slipping slowly into a quagmire of idiosyncratic governmental and bureaucratic interference gone mad.
To demonstrate where we are headed, the Advertising Standards Board recently adjudicated a complaint about a television commercial that showed a child picking his nose. The complainant alleged that nose picking was a dangerous activity: “With all the germs and viruses around in this day and age, I would of (sic) thought Hygiene would of (sic) been a high priority.”
Surely the ASB should have immediately dismissed this complaint. But incredibly, …

Books »

[21 Oct 2014 | No Comment | 28 views ]

After months of delays and uncertainty, the government finally announced the Prime Minister’s Literary Award (PMLA) shortlists yesterday.
Among the finalists in the fiction category is Richard Flanagan, who won the Man Booker Prize in London last week for his novel ‘The Narrow Road to the Deep North’. A few conservatives were riled when Flanagan, within minutes of winning his award told the BBC he was “ashamed to be Australian” when asked about the government’s environmental and energy policies. Despite his comments Flanagan’s shortlisting might reduce any impression of bias coming …

Reviews »

[11 Oct 2014 | No Comment | 25 views ]

REVIEW OF ‘Dick Hamer: The Liberal Liberal’
By Tim Colebatch
Scribe, 505pp, $59.99 (HB)
IN a strong field of recent political biographies and memoirs, this first published biography of Dick Hamer is a most welcome addition.
Hamer, a reformist, was Liberal premier of Victoria from 1972 to 1981 and, as with any biography, details of the times the subject lived in make it all the more fascinating.
Author Tim Colebatch writes that he envies American historian Robert Caro, who has spent the past 40 years researching and writing his still unfinished five-volume biography of former …

Columns »

[11 Oct 2014 | No Comment | 26 views ]

SOMETHING is rotten in the state of NSW. Last month, despite overwhelming community opposition, the NSW Liberal government joined with the Shooters and Fishers Party to pass legislation to manipulate votes in the City of Sydney.
In essence, the next City of Sydney council election will see every corporation that owns land or runs a business in the local area given two votes, while ordinary citizens get one.
In NSW there is no debate about whether businesses should vote in local council elections. As is the case in other council areas, businesses …

Columns »

[27 Sep 2014 | One Comment | 27 views ]

AS someone fascinated by the great split in the Australian Labor Party in the mid-1950s I was delighted to read Julian Croft’s satirical novel ‘Out of Print’, which deals in some detail with the background to the split.
Most of the action takes place in Newcastle in about 1953-54 and deals with a female protagonist, a reporter for the fictional ‘Sydney Morning Times’, who covers the activities of the industrial groupers and the communists in the trade union movement and the sectarian divisions of the time.
The novel does this by featuring …