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[3 May 2016 | No Comment | 6 views ]

A life-long Collingwood supporter, Professor Ross Fitzgerald AM is the author of 39 books, including his memoir ‘My Name is Ross: An Alcoholic’s Journey’ and the co-authored political/sexual satire, ‘Going Out Backwards: A Grafton Everest Adventure.’ In 2016, he edited ‘Heartfelt Moments in Australian Rules Football’ which is a collection of well known Australian contributors each writing of moments they hold dear from the team of their heart. Every team in the AFL is represented. On Monday 21 March 2016, Ross Fitzgerald joined Sydney lawyer Gabrielle Trainer and journalist and …

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[27 Apr 2016 | No Comment | 16 views ]

Life sometimes imitates art as author and political commentator Professor Ross Fitzgerald knows only too well. His recent satirical novel ‘Going Out Backwards’ (which he wrote with comedian Ian McFadyen, who lives on Brisbane’s bayside) is a farce but was eerily prescient in its take on national politics.
Writing of an Australia where a lunatic fringe – including Grafton Everest himself – holds the balance of power in Canberra was certainly on the money.
Professor Fitzgerald, emeritus professor in history and politics at Griffith University, has written histories of Queensland and a …

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[18 Apr 2016 | 3 Comments | 25 views ]

Last week, former prime minister Bob Hawke came out in favour of voluntary-assisted dying. The fact is that many attempts over the years have been made to pass a voluntary assisted dying law in Australia, but none has succeeded.
This is despite overwhelming public support (between 70 and 80 per cent) for the idea that terminally ill people who are suffering unbearably should be able to ask a doctor to help them end their life quickly and painlessly.
This level of support exists across all the survey categories of gender, age, religion …

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[16 Apr 2016 | One Comment | 22 views ]

Last week, former prime minister Bob Hawke came out in favour of voluntary-assisted dying. The fact is that many attempts over the years have been made to pass a voluntary assisted dying law in Australia, but none has succeeded.
This is despite overwhelming public support (between 70 and 80 per cent) for the idea that terminally ill people who are suffering unbearably should be able to ask a doctor to help them end their life quickly and painlessly.
This level of support exists across all the survey categories of gender, age, religion …

Columns »

[11 Apr 2016 | 2 Comments | 57 views ]

Up till now, the only political party I ever considered joining was the Communist Party of Australia.
When I was a 15-year-old student at Melbourne High School, along with fellow student and future millionaire, Alan Piper, with whom I played for the Victorian schoolboys cricket team, I met a Communist Party of Australia organiser outside the Bryant and May match factory in Richmond. The organiser paid no attention to Alan but after listening to me for less than a minute he put up his hands and said “I think you can …

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[6 Apr 2016 | 2 Comments | 41 views ]

Six months ago, when Malcolm Turnbull replaced Tony Abbott as Prime Minister, many people breathed a sigh of relief. Abbott had never been personally popular and had compounded this by knighting Prince Philip on Australia Day, persisting with an over-generous parental leave scheme at a time when other spending was being cut, and introducing the 2014 horror budget that Australia needed but that appeared to break pre-election commitments. Abbott, it seemed, was almost as bad as Julia Gillard who had promised no carbon tax but then brought one in.
On the …

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[26 Mar 2016 | No Comment | 55 views ]

It’s been hailed an Easter Saturday homecoming for the Sydney Swans. Tonight they take on my beloved Collingwood Magpies at the Sydney Cricket Ground in a venue change that has infuriated Pies president Eddie McGuire. But there could be far more to McGuire’s latest outrage than meets the eye.
When, just over three weeks ago, the Swans announced the relocation of three home games, including tonight’s clash, from ANZ Stadium at Homebush to the SCG, McGuire was furious that he found out through a news release. The Magpies president lambasted the …

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[14 Mar 2016 | 2 Comments | 39 views ]

Having for decades operated with no Indigenous members of federal Parliament, the Australian Labor Party may soon have three.
Esteemed Aboriginal leader Patrick Dodson will join Nova Peris in the Senate. On the other hand, Linda Burney – who resigned recently as deputy leader of the NSW Labor Party to contest the federal seat of Barton – could be the first Indigenous woman in the House of Representatives.
The talented Burney is likely to win Barton, which, following a recent electoral redistribution, is now notionally a Labor seat. As well, Burney will …

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[12 Mar 2016 | No Comment | 27 views ]

This powerful personal narrative is a difficult book to negotiate, not least because it comprises 309 pages of text entirely devoid of chapter numbers or headings, followed by a blank page and the acknowledgments.
But this caveat in no way means that the book — the author’s first — is not an enormously rewarding and revealing exploration of the effects of war on family life and on the human soul and psyche.
Enemy begins with a striking opening sentence: “I was born into the war still raging inside my father.” Indeed Ruth …

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[5 Mar 2016 | 2 Comments | 54 views ]

Our national game, Australian Rules Football, cuts across all divides of class, income, ethnicity, gender, religion, race and sexual preference.
Hence contributors to my recent collection of 37 original essays, ‘Heartfelt Moments in Australian Rules Football’, range from devout atheists like myself, Dick Whitaker and Barry Dickins to believing Christians such as Geraldine Doogue, John Birt and Cardinal George Pell – who writes about his decision whether to become a priest, or to train and play with Richmond.
The reality is that not only unbelievers, but also clerics of all persuasions often …

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[4 Mar 2016 | No Comment | 15 views ]

THE IMPACT OF GRAFTON EVEREST – MOVING FORWARDS (SIC)
As avid MWD readers will be aware, last December this august (sic) publication issued its very own 2015 Summer Reading List for Nancy’s (Male) Co-owner. It was inspired by the awesomely pretentious 2015 Summer Reading List for the Prime Minister prepared by the awesomely pretentious Dr John Daley (for a doctor he is) of the taxpayer subsidised Grattan Institute in Melbourne.
In what turned out to be a remarkably successful reading list, Hendo went for the (previously) little known How To Be …