Monthly Archives: November 2016

Spoke on Triple R – the US election and federal politics

It was great fun guest hosting Spoke this week on Triple R, filling in for Michelle Bennett.

We had an action-packed political line-up with the US election in its final stages and the Australian federal senate in a state of disarray. Worth a listen all the way through but if you’re stuck for time, click on each URL to hear the individual interview.

    • Brett Mason, US Election Correspondent, SBS, via phone from Pennsylvania at Hillary Clinton’s final Get Out The Vote Event – a prescient discussion of the US Election and where the candidates stand on election eve
    • Laura Tingle, Political Editor, AFR, from Canberra – on the week that was in federal politics (Senate chaos and constitutional questions, same sex marriage plebiscite, 18C and wedging Labor on asylum seeker policy)
    • Alan Pears AM, in the studio – on the Pears Report (climate and energy policy over the last 20 years, where do we stand now?)
    • Professor Helen Sullivan, incoming Director, Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU, in the studio – on an endangered species… good public policy making: What is it? Have we gone backwards? How can we ensure better public policy making happen? AND the latest UK High Court decision on Brexit
    • Dr Richard Denniss, Chief Economist at The Australia Institute – on Manning Clark’s ‘enlargers and punishers’, Hazelwood job losses and demystifying econobabble.

One day of the US election campaign to go… We spoke to Brett Mason from Philadelphia at Clinton’s last rally. The discussion on Trump voters was very prescient. [Photo credit: @BrettMasonNews]

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The 1916 conscription referendum – 100 years on

October 28, 2016 marked 100 years since the first conscription referendum was held in Australia. The anniversary was largely unnoticed by mainstream media and it is no surprise. It doesn’t tell a story of great unity, but rather a moment of great conflict during a war where the ANZAC myth had just been forged.

To mark the occasion and to examine what the conscription conflict means to us today (and perhaps more importantly, should mean), I interviewed Associate Professor Sean Scalmer, School of Historical and Philosophical Studies at The University of Melbourne.

My first foray into Australian history came from attending lectures by Sean Scalmer – his strength as an academic and lecturer is that he illuminates Australian history with clarity, life, perceptiveness and nuance.

To listen to the my chat with Sean Scalmer, click here (Triple R On Demand). It will play from the beginning of the interview.

ccgw-cover-printScalmer co-wrote the book, The Conscription Conflict and the Great War (October 2016), with fellow historians Robin Archer, Joy Damousi, and Murray Goot.

It was launched in Melbourne at Trades Hall by Federal Leader Bill Shorten on October 27, 1916.

It’s clear that the conscription campaigns of 1916 and 1917 are still very important to Australian Labor Party’s identity and to labour history. There is much contention around this and how it is remembered by society and by the labour movement currently. More from me on that at a later date.

Later in the show, I spoke to Dr. Lucina Ward (listen to the interview here) from the National Gallery of Australia who is Senior Curator of the Versailles: Treasures from the Palace exhibition (opens December 9, 2016).

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