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 …

Speeches »

[14 Sep 2014 | No Comment | 65 views ]

Professor Ross Fitzgerald’s speech at the end of the Sydney Recovery from Addictions Walk, outside NSW Parliament House, at noon on Sunday September 14, 2014.
“One of the reasons for today’s event is that often when alcoholics and addicts are drinking and using they hit the headlines, but as soon as they are in recovery they almost always vanish from sight. This means that a great many other alcoholics and addicts are not aware that recovery from addiction is possible and that there is hope for those who still suffer.
Last year …

Columns »

[13 Sep 2014 | One Comment | 30 views ]

EIGHTY-FIVE per cent of Australians support the idea that a human being who is terminally ill, with no hope of recovery, should be able to get medical assistance to die. Moreover, there are plenty of medical practitioners who would be willing to provide this ­assistance.
This is the reality of today’s Australia. As a baby boomer entering my twilight years, I have a vested interest in our federal parliament facing up to this reality and passing the necessary legislation without undue delay.
The Medical Board of Australia’s suspension of Philip Nitschke, the …

Roundup »

[9 Sep 2014 | No Comment | 11 views ]

WHEN I heard GoPro was releasing a harness for dogs I was curious. Could dogcam vision be as riveting as hang-gliding action, mountain biking, rock scaling or clips of catching that big wave?
So I harnessed up our favourite local dog, a West Highland White Terrier called Maddie who attends a weekly dog obedience class in inner Sydney.
She wore a regular GoPro Hero3+ black edition camera for the exercise — the same one used by extreme sports nuts.
Maddie just fits the weight range of dogs GoPro says the harness is suited …

Columns »

[7 Sep 2014 | One Comment | 41 views ]

Not Anonymous Anymore
1.The Spirit of Things, ABC Radio National
Sunday 7 September 2014 6:05PM
PROF ROSS FITZGERALD, AUTHOR OF ‘MY NAME IS ROSS, AN ALCOHOLIC’S JOURNEY’ 2012.
Drug addicts and alcoholics make the news when their lives spin out and they land in jail, but recovering from addiction receives little or no attention. The Rev Bill Crews, Director of the Exodus Foundation in Sydney says that the courage, conviction and honesty of those in recovery have a spiritual dimension that is lacking in many churches.
Recovering alcoholics Ross Fitzgerald AM and Jessica M …

Reviews »

[6 Sep 2014 | No Comment | 70 views ]

Review
‘What Did You Do in the Cold War, Daddy?’
Edited by Ann Curthoys and Joy Damousi
New South, 297pp, $34.99
THE Cold War dominated geopolitics in the years after World War II and, in the light of current events in Ukraine, some commentators think a new version of it is emerging. But as Vladimir Putin was shaped by earlier conflicts when he worked for the KGB that should come as no surprise.
As Ann Curthoys and Joy Damousi point out in their helpful introduction to this collection of fascinating personal stories from another …

Roundup »

[3 Sep 2014 | No Comment | 14 views ]

Dame Marie Bashir, Governor of New South Wales, awards me a Member of the Order of Australia at Government House, Sydney, on September 3, 2014. I was appointed Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia, for significant service to education in the field of politics and history as an academic, and to community and public health organisations.

Reviews »

[31 Aug 2014 | One Comment | 47 views ]

REVIEW
POLITICS
HE WHO MUST BE OBEID
Kate McClymont and Linton Besser
Vintage, $34.99
In writing a lengthly book about a deeply corrupt politician whose tentacles extended throughout New South Wales, and beyond, Kate McClymont and Linton Besser have had to rely on assistance from almost every quarter of the nation. This includes a swag of sitting and former state and federal politicians who spoke to the prize-winning journalists on and off the record.
Former NSW Labor minister Edward Moses (“Eddie”) Obeid, a Lebanese Maronite Christian immigrant and former taxi driver with nine children, treated the …