Monthly Archives: August 2004

AIS loans

In a move that is sure to be as popular right now as an Irish priest in a Brazilian bar, Bruce Chapman and I make a modest proposal in today’s Age: that high-earning Australian Institute of Sport athletes be required … Continue reading

Posted in Sports | 4 Comments

Fixed Four Year Terms

In breaking news, Mark Latham has just called for fixed four year terms. We’re not sure whether Imagining Australia had any impact on his thinking, but we like to hope it did. For an abbreviated version of our arguments for … Continue reading

Posted in Australian issues

Latham and Leadership

A few weeks ago, I worked my way through Bill Clinton’s “My Life”. I must confess, somewhat sheepishly, that I loved it. As far as I can tell, reviewers have been unanimous in their critique: a bore of a book … Continue reading

Posted in Australian issues

Will the real Peter Costello please stand up?

Has the Treasurer taken a quick peek at IA? Over the last three months, Peter Costello has begun to articulate a more expansive vision for the future of the country. He’s talked about the importance of social capital and tolerance, … Continue reading

Posted in Australian issues

Wealthy, not healthy and wise

According to today’s papers, the Labor Party seems to be making a sensible decision to oppose providing a higher private health care rebate to older Australians. (From April 2005, the Federal Government plans to increase the 30 per cent private … Continue reading

Posted in Australian issues

Some photos!

I have *finally* put together some photos from the launch of Imagining Australia and some of the promotional stuff we did. Click here or on the photo album on the right sidebar to check them out.

Posted in Book launch stuff

Young Australians

A report has just been released examining youth and citizenship. Shockingly…’less than 55 per cent of the young Australians sampled believed Australia was a democracy’! …and … ‘nearly 90 per cent of those surveyed wanted to participate in decisions which … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized

The Lucky Country

In the SMH today is an article written by Donald Horne, author of the 1960’s seminal text, The Lucky Country: Australia Today. Donald Horne wirtes that Australia has come a long way since his ironic description of Australia as a … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized

On the road

Lest readers think that all we do all day is think about ideas for our future, I have been reading a fantastic book recently by a friend of mine, Rory Stewart, who did something that most right thinking people would … Continue reading

Posted in Books

Eureka Revisited

In today’s Sydney Morning Herald, Tony Moore argues that our tradition of telling Australian stories is being lost, in favour of dumbed down stories, and tales from Olde England: We need more of the likes of Rabbit-Proof Fence and Ned … Continue reading

Posted in Australian issues

And now for a few words from the authors…

I had meant to mention this two weeks ago, but I have finally put the speech we gave at the launch of Imagining Australia on the website. So if you’re interested in how the book came about, how the four … Continue reading

Posted in Book launch stuff

Fixed 4 year terms part II

If you’re interested in our proposal for fixed 4 year terms, an abbreviated version of it appears in today’s Canberra Times. Click here or here to read it.

Posted in Australian issues

Black Friday 2: more examples of the need for a Bill of Rights

Somehow in everything that has being going on in the last two weeks, I missed the High Court’s decision on the detention of asylum seekers on the Friday before last (6/8). Briefly, the HCA held that the Commonwealth Parliament could … Continue reading

Posted in Australian issues

Black Friday: an example of why we need a Bill of Rights

As if to prove my point, it appears that right about the time I was writing my last post, the Government and the ALP were teaming up to race a new law law through the Senate banning gay marriage in … Continue reading

Posted in Australian issues

Freedom & liberty

An extraordinary story broke at 4pm over here in the States today — the Governor of New Jersey held a press conference, disclosed that he was gay and had had an affair with another man, and announced that he’d resign. … Continue reading

Posted in Australian issues | 2 Comments

On the shelves

If you’re having trouble finding IA, then Pete will point you in the right direction!! (or you could click here 😉

Posted in Book launch stuff | 4 Comments

Time for fixed 4 year terms

Speculation is rife at the moment about when the election is going to be called. Indeed speculation has been rife for months now! The parties gave up on any serious policy making work long ago. Fun as it may be … Continue reading

Posted in Australian issues

FTAs, PTAs and Political Reality

In a valuable contribution to the debate over the US/Australia Free Trade Agreement, Ross Gittins writes that: It was shaping as a disaster for Mark Latham. He looked like he was in trouble whichever way he jumped. Had he opposed … Continue reading

Posted in Global issues | 2 Comments


There is a little review of Imagining Australia in this month’s edition of Insights Magazine. Here’s part of what they had to say about IA: Imagining Australia is full of ideas. I suspect some will find greater acceptance than others, … Continue reading

Posted in Book launch stuff

A General revolt

Hot on the heels of Andrew’s post on why Australians dislike their politicans, comes a statement from 43 of Australia’s former military chiefs, department heads and senior diplomats about the importance of truth in government. The statement (read about it … Continue reading

Posted in Australian issues

Why Do Australians Dislike Their Politicians?

In a blog response, James Tauber asked about the book I edited with David Burchell in 2002: The Prince’s New Clothes: Why Do Australians Dislike Their Politicians? In the book, I suggested three reasons why Australians are less trusting of … Continue reading

Posted in Australian issues

Never again?

Meantime, while our pollies squabble over the details of the FTA, the genocide in Sudan is getting worse. The Times is reporting that for the first time in its 11 year history, the US Holocaust Museum called the situation in … Continue reading

Posted in Global issues

By way of example….

Not to dwell on the Convention, but to illustrate just how powerful speeches can be when politicians take them seriously, take a few minutes to watch rising star Barrack Obama’s speech. He takes a little while to warm up, and … Continue reading

Posted in Australian issues | 2 Comments

A Senator for International Australians

One of the proposals we make in Imagining Australia is that expatriate Australians should be represented by their own Senator (and, at the same time, lose their right to vote in House of Representatives elections). In this article, published by … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized

Nothing Conventional about it

Was back in Boston last week for the Democratic National Convention – if you think it looks like a spectacle on TV you should see it in person! It is common in Aussie political circles to disparage the conduct of … Continue reading

Posted in Australian issues | 1 Comment

National identity, multiculturalism & immigration

A few weeks ago, Mac and I did an interview with SBS radio. It was a good chance to talk about our ideas on national identity, multiculturalism and immigration. Click here to listen to the interview.

Posted in Australian issues

The Eureka Centre

As readers of this blog (or the book) would know, in Chap 1 of Imagining Australia we propose that the Eureka uprising be made the centerpiece of our national story. To learn more about this great story and the celebrations … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized

Worth Noting

In its latest edition of its fortnightly management publication Worth Noting, leading Australian research and conferences organisation L21 reviews some of the ideas that we present in our chapter on Sustaining Growth & Prosperity. Click here to read L21’s take … Continue reading

Posted in Australian issues