Australia's engagement with Asia from 1944 until the late 1960s was based on a sense of responsibility to the United Kingdom and its Southeast Asian colonies as they navigated a turbulent independence into the British Commonwealth. The circumstances of the early Cold War decades also provided for a mutual sense of solidarity with the non‑communist states of East Asia, with which Australia mostly enjoyed close relationships. From 1967 into the early 1970s, however, Commonwealth Responsibility and Cold War Solidarity demonstrates that the framework for this deep Australian engagement with its region was progressively eroded by a series of compounding, external factors: the 1967 formation of ASEAN and its consolidation by the mid-1970s as the premier regional organisation surpassing the Asian and Pacific Council (ASPAC); Britain's withdrawal from East of Suez; Washington's de‑escalation and gradual withdrawal from Vietnam after March 1968; the 1969 Nixon doctrine that America's Asia-Pacific allies must take up more of the burden of providing for their own security; and US rapprochement with China in 1972. The book shows that these profound changes marked the start of Australia's political distancing from the region during the 1970s despite the intentions, efforts and policies of governments from Whitlam onwards to foster deeper engagement. By 1974, Australia had been pushed to the margins of the region, with its engagement premised on a broadening but shallower transactional basis.
Since 1901, thirty different leaders have run the national show. Whether their term was eight days or eighteen years, each prime minister has a story worth sharing. Edmund Barton united the bickering states in a federation. The unlucky Jimmy Scullin took office days before Wall Street crashed into the Great Depression. John Curtin faced the ultimate challenge of wartime leadership. John Gorton, Gough Whitlam and Paul Keating each shook up their parties' policies so vigorously that none lasted much longer than a single term. Harold Holt spent three decades in parliament, only to disappear while swimming off the coast of Victoria two years into his first term. John Howard's 'triple bypass' is the stuff of legend. Julia Gillard overthrew Kevin Rudd and Kevin Rudd overthrew Julia Gillard, thus paving the way for Tony Abbott, who was ousted by Malcolm Turnbull until he too was toppled, this time by Scott Morrison. But is Australia's thirty-first prime minister just around the corner? With characteristic wit and expert knowledge, Mungo MacCallum brings the nation's leaders to life in this fully up-to-date new edition of a classic book
Most political memoirs are boring. Bob Carr tears up the rules. He plunges in, beginning with the despair of a young man pining for a political career, convinced he's going nowhere, then vaulting to the exhilaration of a premier who, on one day, saves a vast forest and unveils the country's best curriculum. He lashes himself for ignoring a cry from a prisoner in a cell and for a breach of protocol with a US Supreme Court judge. He considers talking to the leader of a notorious rape gang and celebrates winning power against the odds: a leader without kids or any interest in sport. He describes growing up in a fibro house without sewerage and a 'lousy education' that produced a lifetime appetite for self-learning. He is candid about dealing with the media, dining with royals, working for Kerry Packer. He reveals the secrets he learnt from Neville Wran. He is open about his adulation of Gough Whitlam. Floating above all is Bob Carr's idea of public service in a party, he says, that resembles an old, scarred, barnacled whale. In an era of bland politicians, here's one with personality true to his quirky self. Silence the jet skis! Balance the budget! Liberate the dolphins! Roll out the toll roads! Declare a million hectares of eucalypt wilderness! Be a politician of character. All author proceeds from this book are donated to help the children displaced by the Syrian civil war by funding humanitarian aid through the registered charity Australia for UNHCR.
The post-war period and the Whitlam government -- The Fraser government -- The Hawke-Keating governments -- The Howard government -- The Rudd-Gillard governments -- The Abbott-Turnbull governments -- The national story and policy legitimacy -- Professionalisation and technical legitimacy -- Managing risk and administrative legitimacy -- Epilogue
In Fear of Abandonment, expert and insider Allan Gyngell tells the story of how Australia has shaped the world and been shaped by it since it established an independent foreign policy during the dangerous days of 1942. Gyngell argues that the fear of being abandoned - originally by Britain, and later by our most powerful ally, the United States - has been an important driver of how Australia acts in the world. Spanning events as diverse as the Malayan Emergency, the White Australia Policy, the Vietnam War, Whitlam in China, apartheid in South Africa, East Timorese independence and the current South China Sea dispute, this vivid narrative history reveals how Australia has evolved as a nation on the world stage. Fear of Abandonment is a gripping and authoritative account of the way Australians and their governments have helped create the world we now inhabit in the twenty-first century. In revealing the history of Australian foreign affairs, it lays the foundation for how it should change
Bob Scates has been active in Labor politics and peace movements since he was a teenager in the late 1960s. He achieved most fame as a draft resister in 1972, for which he was given an eighteen month goal sentence. After serving eight months of the sentence, he was re- leased upon the election of the Whitlam government in December 1972. He was State Senior Vice President of the Young Labor Association in 1973, and between March 1972 and Ausgust 1987 he was an ALP member of the Fitzroy Council.
By 1963, Robert Menzies had been prime minister for thirteen years, Australia had its first troops in Vietnam, and change was in the air. There would soon be street protests over women's rights, Aboriginal land rights and the Vietnam War, and unprecedented student activism. With the Cold War lingering, ASIO was concerned that protests were being orchestrated to foment revolution. The Protest Years tells the inside story of Australia's domestic intelligence organisation from the last of the Menzies years to the dismissal of the Whitlam government. With unrestricted access to ASIO's internal files, and extensive interviews with insiders, for the first time the circumstances surrounding the alleged role of ASIO in the demise of the Whitlam Government are revealed, and the question of the CIA's involvement in Australia is explored. The extraordinary background to the raid on ASIO headquarters in Melbourne by Attorney-General Lionel Murphy, and Australia's efforts at countering Soviet bloc espionage, as well as the sensitive intelligence activities in South Vietnam, are exposed. This is a ground-breaking political and social history of some of Australia's most turbulent years as seen through the secret prism of ASIO. The Protest Years is the second of three volumes of The Official History of ASIO.
Senate reform has once again found its way into national conversation. A discussion paper released by the Prime Minister in early October represents the latest in a long history of national discussions on the topic of resolving deadlocks between the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Senate has been an the subject of considerable debate starting from the federation conferences of the 1890's. At the time of Federation in 1901 , the Senate was seen as encompassing the dual role of a 'house of review' and a 'states house'. It was believed that the Senate would aspire to these roles as it grew through history. Sadly, the Senate never became a 'states house' and has only recently played the role of 'house of review' due to the rise of a robust Senate Committee system. Alfred Deakin had predicted before federation that a strong two party system would develop in Australia, preventing the Senate from fulfilling either of its intended roles. He was right. A combination of factors, including a switch to proportional representation and an increase in the size of the Senate in 1949 to 10 Senators, and 1984 to 12 Senators per state has ted to a upper house that is not likely to be led by a governing majority. In recent times, the Senate, led by the opposition parties have obstructed and frustrated the governments legislative program.· In 1975, the refusal of the Senate to pass Supply led to a constitutional crisis and the downfall of the Whitlam Government. In the last decade, the Senate has been referred to as 'unrepresentative swill' and a 'house of obstruction'. Both of these terms represent the frustration that successive Prime Ministers from both of the major parties have had with a Senate that they do not control. This frustration has once again culminated in the prospect that the deadlock provisions under section 57 of the constitution will be changed. The Prime Minister has re-suggested two proposals, both of which provide for a joint sitting of parliament without the need for a double dissolution. Both suggestions would require a referendum to undertake the necessary constitutional changes. This paper suggests two alternative measures that do not require a referendum, but could potentially serve the same function - to eliminate the occurrence of bicameral deadlock. The first suggestion is to cut party ties in the Senate by banning ministerial positions from being held in the upper-house. An enhanced committee system would provide an alternative career structure for Senators who would be rewarded for hard legislative work. Associated electoral reforms would also help to cut party loyalty . in the Senate allowing for the easier negotiation of government legislation. The second suggestion is one revived from Billy Wentworth's maiden speech in 1950. It is simply to change back to a system of first past the post voting in the event of a double dissolution election. The resulting winner takes all effect would be a deterrent against obstruction for obstructions sake. Only a party which was sure it had the majority of voters on side would be prepared to allow a double dissolution to occur.
The Policy Agendas Project collects and organises data from official documents to trace changes in the policy agenda and outputs of national, sub-national and supranational governments. In this paper we use the policy agendas method to analyse the changing contents of those Australian Governor-General's speeches delivered on behalf of incoming governments between 1945 and 2008. We suggest that these speeches provide an important insight into how the executive wishes to portray its policy agenda as it starts a new term of government. In mapping the changing agenda in this way we address four questions: which issues have risen or fallen in importance? When and in relation to what issues have there been policy 'punctuations'? How stable is the Australian policy agenda? How fragmented is the policy agenda? We find evidence of a number of policy punctuations and one turning-point: the election of the Whitlam government.
The Whitlam government of the 1970s introduced the principle of self-determination to Indigenous affairs. Since then it has been accepted as an important factor in attaining equality for Indigenous Australians. Self-determination can be broadly understood to mean the transference of political and economic power to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. In is understood in terms of Aboriginal people having control over the ultimate decision about a wide range of matters including political status, and economic, social and cultural development and having the resources and capacity to control the future of their own communities within the legal structure common to all Australians. Political representation is a vital aspect of Indigenous self-determination as it is the forum in which Indigenous people can express their views and opinions as well as influence policies concerning their lives and communities and interact with the government in order to achieve the best possible results for all involved. It can be argued that the present government's policies in the area of Indigenous affairs have marked a significant shift away from the policy of self-determination as evident in the dismantlement of representative structures such as ATSIC. The policies of self-determination and self-management led to what Will Sanders describes as two experiments in the creation of government-sponsored Aboriginal representative structures - the National Aboriginal Consultative Committee (NACC), and the National Aboriginal Conference (NAC). Both the NACC and the NAC were elected advisory bodies to the government that were both short-lived and were replaced with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC). ATSIC differed form its predecessors in that it combined two functions within one organization - representation and executive responsibilities. Upon its inception, ATSIC was described as a path breaking experiment in the field of Indigenous affairs internationally. ATSIC was an elected body with a strong regional focus with 60 (later 36) regional councils which formed the basis of ATSIC's representative structure. Each ATSIC region had a Regional Council. 8-12 people were elected to each Regional Council who then in turn elected a Regional Chairperson and a Deputy. These Regional councils are grouped into 16 ATSIC zones each of which elected a national Commissioner from among their regional councillors. In an attempt to balance representation of regions with very different populations, zones ranged from one to eight regional councils whilst there were 60 regions from 1990 to 1993. From late 1993, when there were 36 regions, zones ranged from one to four regional councils. The administrative arm was headed by a Chief Executive Officer and administrated ATSIC's various programs, including the implementation of decisions made by the elected arm about loan and grant applications and the direction of funding to particular service delivery organisations. A review of ATSIC in 2002-2003 resulted in a public discussion paper and a final report outlining problems with ATSIC's structure and operations and recommendations for reform. One of the main criticisms of ATSIC was the need to improve connections between regional representative structures and national policy formulations. Within six months of the report being published the government position did an abrupt about face - from strengthening ATSIC, which was considered a unique organisation to doing away with it. In April 2004, both the coalition government and the labour opposition announced intentions to abolish ATSIC. In May 2004, the government announced that ATSIC was to be abolished in two stages, with the national board to terminate in 2004 and the regional councils in 2005. The National Indigenous Council (NIC) was established to advise the government on Indigenous affairs and consists of appointed members and is not representative nor does it have the power to influence policy making in Indigenous affairs The abolition of the nationally elected representative Indigenous body ensures that the government will only have to deal with Indigenous peoples on its own terms and without any reference to the views and goals of Indigenous peoples. Increased Indigenous participation and control over decision making is essential to improving government service delivery. Ultimately, abolishing ATSIC will simply silence Indigenous people at the national level while the deeply entrenched crisis in Indigenous communities continues unabated. The removal of ATSIC and the lack of a replacement representative body for Indigenous Australians means that once again, Indigenous people have lost the power to influence the decisions that impact on their lives. International examples from Canada, the US and New Zealand show that there are various models for Indigenous representation which facilitate self-determination. It is vital that these models are considered as well as the models of past Australian representative structures when developing a representative body for Indigenous Australians. A representative body must be established for. Indigenous Australians so that once again, they influence policies which concern them, advocate on behalf of Indigenous Australians and negotiate with governments for positive outcomes to improve their lives.
Labor governments since the early 20th Century have consistently attempted to boost business profits. The way they have done so has changed but their policies have been consistently shaped by both the shifting requirements of Australian capitalism and the ALP’s nature as a capitalist workers party. From the 1940s until the early 1970s, Labor advocated a program of Keynesian and protectionist economics. As the economics profession turned against protectionism, the Whitlam Government sought to integrate Australian capitalism more closely with the global economy. The Hawke and Keating Governments went much further in opening the economy, deregulating, privatizing and corporatizing than their conservative predecessor. In most areas, with the notable exception of industrial relations, they generally acted in line with the new, neo-liberal orthodoxy in economics. The logic of the Rudd and Gillard Governments’ responses to the global economic crisis, invoking a mixture of neo-liberal and Keynesian precepts, like the economic policies of its Labor predecessors, can only be grasped in terms of the ALP’s distinctive material constitution.
The history of Indigenous struggles is a conflicted one that has carried on into the 21st century. Governments have implemented and adapted plan after plan in accordance with their beliefs on how Indigenous affairs should be managed. The goal for Indigenous Australians in 1938 was to obtain equal rights and opportunities. The journey has been a long one and still this milestone has not been achieved. However, these goals have been evolving to include being recognized as the First Australians and the entitlements that entails. Having land given back to Indigenous people was one of the original goals that remains to be a critical issue even in debates today. A Northern Territory strike at Wave Hill Station in 1966 shows the first actions toward regaining land rights, "The strike soon becomes a demand for land rights, when the strikers set up camp on their traditional land and seek the transfer of part of the pastoral lease."1 In the early 1900s, what is now referred to as the 'lost generation,' was caused by the government assimilating Indigenous Australians into mainstream Australian culture. It was a 'government manage all ' approach. To help facilitate this movement, children from mixed decent were taken from their families, and placed in non Indigenous homes to be raised. This practice continued until the late 1960s. When the Whitlarn Labor government carne into power, the phrase self-determination was used to describe the goals of and for Indigenous peoples. This was a vague term used to signify Indigenous people having some sense of independence while existing in Australian society. It was an opportunity to provide input into their own affairs. A separate government department was established to govern Indigenous affairs; this was called the Department of Aboriginal Affairs. An elected advising committee was formed to assist the department in speaking to Indigenous communities. The 1976 Fraser Coalition government moved toward the idea of self-management for Indigenous people. This to an extent reduced the ideals set out by the Whitlam government. The government did not intend to broaden its governance over Indigenous issues, but rather continued to view its responsibility as limited to certain aspects of Indigenous affairs. Under this government discussions of land rights as well as basic rights continued. In 1987, with Prime Minister Bob Hawke, the topic of forming a treaty with Indigenous Australians was raised, something then Opposition Leader John Howard was strongly against. A combination approach to addressing Indigenous affairs was initiated. As a result, in 1989 self-determination resurfaced as a policy approach with the creation of ATSIC. For the government the goal was to increase funding for Indigenous programs as well as give communities greater control over their future. ATSIC was established in 1990 in an effort to satisfy a change in goals. Never before had the government given indigenous people to power to decide where to allocate funds for their own programs. It was seen as a movement from the government making decisions for aboriginal people to helping them in making decisions for themselves. Also established was a council to promote Reconciliation and improve the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. However, the goals set by Government proved to be a stepping stone for what Indigenous leaders were after. The Government was displeased with some of the ways ATSIC was using its power. As a result the government decided it needed to critically monitor the functioning and decision making of the ATSIC board and ordered an intensive review to take place, where ATSIC was forced to account for its every move. This review board reported directly to the minister. In 1993, Indigenous people began the fight for more than just recognition of land claims, but for social reform aimed at improving their conditions and giving them opportunities for a better future. The topic of Reconciliation resurfaces. Indigenous people force the government to address the issue of Aboriginal children having been removed from their homes. The Keating government decided to focus on Indigenous rights and Reconciliation. This provided the opportunity for Indigenous Australians to voice what they had been continuously pushing for,' True Reconciliation.' Among other goals this movement sought an official apology from the government for the 'stolen generations.' In 1996, the Howard government took a step back from the idea of 'True Reconciliation,' and proposed 'Practical Reconciliation' instead. This plan did not satisfy the Indigenous demand for an apology. Through this period ATSIC underwent many struggles and conflict ultimately resulting in its abolishment.