Category Archives: Tributes

MICHAEL KEATING. An appreciation of Ian Marsh.

Ian Marsh who passed away last week, was a highly original thinker with the genuine curiosity of a true intellectual. Ian liked to describe himself as one of the last ‘Deakinite Liberals’. This apt description reflected: Ian’s contributions to industrial … Continue reading

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CAROL SUMMERHAYES. At a tribute dinner for Graham Freudenberg.

Graham revealed in his memoir that he wrote his first speech in Brisbane in May 1945, aged 10, at the time of VE Day, and delivered it to his mother. In 1946 he scored a job with ABC Radio reading … Continue reading

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ALBERT MISPEL. 1938-2017

Pearls & Irritations advises the sad news that Albert Mispel, who was instrumental in getting this blog started (and indeed, suggested its name) has passed away. Albert had an exciting life during which he taught school in New Guinea, was … Continue reading

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PETER GIBILISCO. Where are the public intellectuals like Hugh Stretton.

“The worst kind of bad social science, Stretton argues, purports to select the things to be explained, and the ways of explaining them, without resort to values and valuation”  

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IAN WEBSTER. A tribute to Anne Deveson – understanding the homeless mentally ill

Anne Deveson’ s media presence spearheaded the media’s involvement in public health and mental health. She contributed at so many levels – social commentaries and documentaries -which challenged our sensibilities.

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BINOY KAMPMARK. Des Ball: The man who sank the myth of controlled nuclear warfare

The late Professor Des Ball of the Australian National University’s Strategic and Defence Studies Centre came as close as any on being a public intellectual on nuclear strategy. While some of his counterparts in the United States felt that using … Continue reading

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NICHOLAS FARRELLY. What is King Bhumibol’s legacy?

New Mandala co-founder Nicholas Farrelly reflects on a remarkable and contentious reign. The 70-year reign of Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej started and ended inauspiciously. It was a family tragedy that unexpectedly brought Bhumibol to the throne. He went on to … Continue reading

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GRAHAM FREUDENBERG. On Gough Whitlam’s 100th birthday, 11 July 2016.

This tribute is being published as a foreword to the book ‘Not just for this life’. Wendy Guest has put together all the tributes paid to Gough Whitlam in the House and the Senate in October 2014. This tribute to … Continue reading

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Eric Walsh. Tribute to Brian Johns.

The death of Brian Francis Johns, 79, in the early hours of New Years Day marked the end of one of the most impressive Australian media careers of the last half century. During this period Johns engaged in and excelled … Continue reading

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John Menadue. Vale Malcolm Fraser.

Repost from 21/03/2015 I am sure that Malcolm Fraser’s concerns for human rights were always there. But as he grew and matured, that concern flourished and became obvious to all. He became our moral compass on human rights. I was … Continue reading

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Edmund Campion. Homily for the funeral service of Brian Johns.

Family, friends, colleagues of Brian Johns. The other morning, after Brian had died, it came to me, so this is the end of a conversation that endured for more than sixty years. Then I recalled that one name had dominated … Continue reading

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Julianne Schultz. Tribute to Brian Johns.

Brian Johns: A critical Australian romantic Brian had a gift for friendship. I first got to know him in the late 1970s; I know that many of you knew him for longer. Over the years as some of his closest … Continue reading

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Tributes to Malcolm Fraser.

See below, tributes from Fred Chaney and Robert Manne on Malcolm Fraser’s achievements in public life. John Mendue. Fred Chaney in The Guardian. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/mar/20/malcolm-fraser-a-leader-who-believed-there-is-a-moral-compass-in-our-nations-life Robert Manne in The Guardian. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/mar/20/frasers-great-conservative-achievement-cementing-whitlams-progress-on-race

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Ian Macphee. Personal memories of Malcolm Fraser.

I first met Malcolm in 1973 when he was shadow minister for Industrial Relations in the Coalition opposition. I was Director of the Victorian Chamber of Manufactures and intensely involved in industrial relations. Malcolm had just been given that responsibility … Continue reading

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Graham Freudenberg. Gough Whitlam Commemorative Oration.

 You will see below what I think is a remarkable speech by Graham Freudenberg about Gough Whitlam’s contemporary relevance.  This oration is much longer than I normally post on this blog, but it is an outstanding oration which I am … Continue reading

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Graham Freudenberg. Gough being Gough.

LAUNCH OF JAMES CARLETON’S ‘THE WIT OF WHITLAM’,BELLEVUE HOTEL, PADDINGTON, NSW, 8 DECEMBER 2014 As Henry Kissinger discovered to his chagrin in Beijing in 1971, Gough made a habit of getting there first.  The Bellevue is no exception.  Most of … Continue reading

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Steve FitzGerald on Gough Whitlam, Chairman Mao and Premier Zhou

Of the many things I admired and loved about Gough, one of the most delicious, next to our shared liking for food, was that he was the best person I’ve ever been privileged to brief. It wasn’t just that he … Continue reading

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John Mant. Tribute to Gough Whitlam

It is difficult to make this speech – so much to say about this great man and his times. I observed him from a number of angles: Working with Tom Uren and Gough Whitlam on urban policy proposals before the … Continue reading

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Antony Whitlam. Tribute to Gough Whitlam

The Honourable (Edward) Gough Whitlam, AC QC State Memorial Service The Honourable Antony Whitlam QC Sydney Town Hall 5 November 2014   Auntie Millie Ingram gave a moving Welcome to Country. I also wish to acknowledge the Gadigal people of … Continue reading

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Noel Pearson. Tribute to Gough Whitlam.

The Honourable (Edward) Gough Whitlam, AC QC State Memorial Service Noel Pearson Sydney Town Hall 5 November 2014   Paul Keating said the reward for public life is public progress. For one born estranged from the nation’s citizenship, into a … Continue reading

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John Faulkner. Tribute to Gough Whitlam

The Honourable (Edward) Gough Whitlam, AC QC Senator John Faulkner State Memorial Service Sydney Town Hall 5 November 2014 “Dying will happen sometime.  As you know, I plan for the ages, not just for this life.” As those words show, … Continue reading

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Graham Freudenberg AM. Tribute to Gough Whitlam.

The Honourable (Edward) Gough Whitlam, AC QC State Memorial Service Graham Freudenberg AM Sydney Town Hall 5 November 2014   This is the greatest privilege of my very privileged life.  And I thank the Whitlam Family for it. Gough Whitlam … Continue reading

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Richard Woolcott. Whitlam on the world stage: Courage, vision and wit

Gough Whitlam had political courage and a vision for Australia. A forward-looking, pragmatic realist, he sought to reshape Australia’s approach to the countries of North and Southeast Asia, the region in which we are forever situated. It was stimulating to … Continue reading

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Eric Walsh. Gough Whitlam – Australia’s greatest reforming Prime Minister.

Australian media had never seen anything like it. Suddenly print, radio, television and social media were overwhelmed – blanket coverage of a single event. Edward Gough Whitlam, Australia’s 21st and greatest reforming Prime Minister, was dead. Newspapers were turned over to … Continue reading

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Kelvin Canavan.   Gough Whitlam: a tribute to an education visionary.  

I first met E. G. Whitlam when he spoke at a series of ‘State Aid’ rallies in Sydney prior to the 1969 federal election.  He was in full voice before a Catholic community that had packed halls and cinemas on … Continue reading

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Mike Steketee. Whitlam: the power of persuasion.

This article was first published by The Drum. Gough Whitlam’s sheer presence, drive and ambitions disguised some deep flaws. But his vision and achievements stand in stark contrast to the politics we often have seen since, writes Mike Steketee. “It’s … Continue reading

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Race Mathews. Whitlam eyed our conscience, not our wallet.

Gough Whitlam’s objective was equality for all. He believed the proper business of politics was to secure informed public consent for necessary change, through objective information from trusted sources. He gave back hope to my generation of Labor Party members. … Continue reading

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George Lekakis recalls meeting Gough Whitlam.

​ Dear John I just wanted to share a memory or two with you before this day is over. My father came to Australia in 1954 and he always told me that he never felt Australian until Gough was elected … Continue reading

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Frank Brennan.  My tribute to Gough

Gough Whitlam once asked me why there were so many social reformers to emerge from Queensland in the early 1970s.  I told him it was simple.  We had someone to whom we could react: Sir Joh Bjelke Petersen; and we … Continue reading

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John Faulkner. Gough Whitlam – Academy awards and Passiona!

At the ALP Caucus today John Faulkner spoke movingly of Gough Whitlam as a towering figure in the ALP. The link to his speech follows: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/edward-gough-whitlam-labor-party-caucus-condolence-motion-20141021-119b4y.html John Menadue

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