Keeping up with The Conversation: wide selection as Parliament returns

Whether your problem is the return to school last week or the return of Federal Parliament this week, President Trump being erratic or AFLW making a splash, if one needs distractions there seems to be more to read at the

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Mackay, Hugh: The state of the nation starts in your street

Hugh Mackay ‘The state of the nation starts in your street‘, The Conversation, 2 February 2017 The Gandhi Oration at the University of New South Wales, 30 January. Mackay ranges widely from politics to personal happiness, the ‘fair go’ to

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Hochman, Zvi, David L. Gobbett & Heidi Horan: Changing climate has stalled Australian wheat yields: study

Zvi Hochman, David L. Gobbett & Heidi Horan ‘Changing climate has stalled Australian wheat yields: study‘, The Conversation, 25 January 2017 In this article, CSIRO researchers take a historical view of Australian wheat yields, concentrating particularly on the years since 1990.

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Evans, Kevin: Koalas are at the centre of a perfect storm. The species is slipping away

Kevin Evans ‘Koalas are at the centre of a perfect storm. The species is slipping away‘, Guardian Australia, 16 January 2017 Climate change threatens koala habitat, adding to their usual problems with fire and drought. But more to the point

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Economist Ian McAuley on Brexit, Trump and the Lucky Country: new series on Pearls and Irritations blog

The Pearls and Irritations blog is always worth following for thoughtful explications of current issues, ones which the mainstream media mostly no longer has the resources or patience to run. Today, P&I publishes nine articles (introduction plus eight) by economist

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Swain, Dave: Food for thought: the rise of Australia’s mighty Brahman

Dave Swain ‘Food for thought: the rise of Australia’s mighty Brahman‘, The Conversation, 8 January 2017 Historical view of the cattle industry of Northern Australia. Despite the successes of the Brahman breed, the challenge facing the north Australian industry remains

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Webster, Beth: Budget deficit hoo-ha is about 0.5% of GDP

Beth Webster ‘Budget deficit hoo-ha is about 0.5% of GDP‘, The Conversation, 20 December 2016 A useful corrective to the mainstream media-political class herd mentality that gives too much profile to deficit and surplus and not enough to what should

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Daley, John & Brendan Coates: Why every generation feels entitled

John Daley & Brendan Coates ‘Why every generation feels entitled‘, The Conversation, 15 December 2016 Refers to the Grattan Institute’s report Age of Entitlement, on age-based tax breaks, which concluded ‘senior Australians get tax breaks unavailable to younger Australians worth

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Scates, Bruce & Melanie Oppenheimer: The Last Battle: Soldier Settlement in Australia, 1916-1939

Bruce Scates & Melanie Oppenheimer The Last Battle: Soldier Settlement in Australia, 1916-1939, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne, 2016 When Australian soldiers returned from the First World War they were offered the chance to settle on “land fit for heroes”. Promotional

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Settling for less (review of Scates and Oppenheimer)

‘Settling for less’ (review of Scates and Oppenheimer), Honest History, 13 December 2016 Michael Piggott* reviews The Last Battle: Soldier Settlement in Australia, 1916-1939 by Bruce Scates and Melanie Oppenheimer At last the book is out. Its official genesis dates

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Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (19) The 1916 coal strike

The Divided Sunburnt Country series ‘Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (19): The 1916 coal strike’, Honest History, 13 December 2016 ‘The strikes and upheavals, political and industrial, we see around us are the manifestations of a deliberate policy which aims at destroying

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Edwards, John: The plight of the right

John Edwards ‘The plight of the Right‘, Inside Story, 5 December 2016 A long, thoughtful review of an expensive book of essays published in July, following a conference in Perth in 2014 of ‘conservative’ economists and journalists. The book is

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Eureka 162 years on: resources on the Honest History site

Tomorrow, 3 December, is the 162nd anniversary of the attack on the Eureka Stockade at Ballarat. Honest History has a number of resources on the site, links to lectures by Andrew Leigh MP and historian Humphrey McQueen, a post about

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Productivity Commission: Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage: Key Indicators 2016

Productivity Commission Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage: Key Indicators 2016 This comprehensive report card measures where things have improved (or not) against 52 indicators across a range of areas including governance, leadership and culture, early childhood, education, health, home and safe and

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Haigh, Gideon: Basic income for all: a 500-year-old idea whose time has come?

Haigh, Gideon ‘Basic income for all: a 500-year-old idea whose time has come?‘ Guardian Australia, 11 November 2016 Long article under the heading ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’, with links to other relevant material. Haigh looks at ‘the potential of ideas such

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Frankopan, Peter: The Silk Roads: A New History of the World

Frankopan, Peter The Silk Roads: A New History of the World, Bloomsbury Publishing, London, 2015 For centuries, fame and fortune was to be found in the west – in the New World of the Americas. Today, it is the east

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The Silk Roads to everywhere (review of Frankopan)

‘The Silk Roads to everywhere’, Honest History, 21 October 2016 Derek Abbott reviews Peter Frankopan’s The Silk Roads: A New History of the World ‘Europe is but a molehill, all the great reputations have come from Asia’ (Napoleon Bonaparte, 1797).

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Thomas, Nelly: Understanding Pauline

Thomas, Nelly ‘Understanding Pauline‘, New Matilda, 9 October 2016 ‘I come from Hanson country’, says the author, ‘working class, socially conservative, racist, homophobic, xenophobic Australia’. The article looks at Hansonism in class terms. The first thing to know about Hanson

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Honest History highlights reel: Nick Dyrenfurth’s Mateship: A Very Australian History

‘Honest History highlights reel: Nick Dyrenfurth’s Mateship: A Very Australian History’, Honest History, 11 October 2016  Nick Dyrenfurth’s book Mateship: A Very Australian History, was published by Scribe in 2015. This highlights reel picks out some key paragraphs. We used

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Burgess, Rob: The banks didn’t save Australia – they ate it

Burgess, Rob ‘The banks didn’t save Australia – they ate it‘, New Daily, 6 October 2016 Analysis in the context of the appearance of banking CEOs before a parliamentary committee, which was followed by a proposal for a banking tribunal

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Lyons, Tim: The Labour Movement: my part in its downfall

Lyons, Tim ‘The Labour Movement: my part in its downfall‘, Meanjin, Spring 2016 (vol. 75, no. 3, pp. 85-92 in hard copy) Works backwards from the demise of the resources super profits tax in 2010 to make some important points

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Port of Melbourne pictures just the tip of the photographic iceberg

Photo credit for home page, 23 September. The port of Melbourne has been leased for a lot of money. This provoked the Melbourne Age to run a set of photographs of the port, dating back well into the 19th century.

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McQueen, Humphrey: Time and Bob Menzies’ essence: lifting the cover on Australia 1960

McQueen, Humphrey ‘Time and Bob Menzies’ essence: lifting the cover on Australia 1960′, Honest History, 30 August 2016 When Humphrey McQueen first wrote this article in 2000 he had this to say: ‘Forty years ago this week, Time presented a

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Time and Bob Menzies’ essence: lifting the cover on Australia 1960

Humphrey McQueen ‘Time and Bob Menzies’ essence: lifting the cover on Australia 1960’, Honest History, 30 August 2016 Note: this article includes a photograph of an Indigenous Australian who has died Time magazine ‘Indignation’ and ‘hilarity’ jostled each other through

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Many facets of inequality revealed in online sources: Honest History miscellany

A current article in Guardian Weekly wonders if the abundance of online sources is killing memory. We don’t need to remember anything because we can look it up. Maybe. The upside is the ease of finding information online – information

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Schultz, Julianne, ed.: Our sporting life: Griffith Review 53

Schultz, Julianne, ed. ‘Our sporting life’, Griffith Review, 53, August 2016, available online to subscribers Collection of essays on something which, we are told, ‘lies at the heart of what it means to be Australian’. At a time when sport

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Many codes, many circuses, much money: Griffith Review 53: Our sporting life

‘Many codes, many circuses, much money: Griffith Review 53: “Our sporting life”’, Honest History, 9 August 2016 A review by Derek Abbott* of the latest Griffith Review, published 1 August 2016. Griffith Review always presents a collection of writings that

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Sheil, Christopher & Frank Stilwell: Land of the ‘fair go’ no more: wealth in Australia is becoming more unequal

Sheil, Christopher & Frank Stilwell ‘Land of the “fair go” no more: wealth in Australia is becoming more unequal‘, The Conversation, 9 August 2016 Yet another piece to add to our collection under the thumbnail, ‘Inequality’. Reports and analyses continue

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McQuire, Amy: 200 years of trauma through a CCTV lens (Don Dale and after)

McQuire, Amy ‘200 years of trauma through a CCTV lens‘, New Matilda, 3 August 2016 The best piece that we have seen on this issue. Darumbul journalist, Amy McQuire, looks behind the Royal Commission kneejerk reaction. Aboriginal affairs moves at

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AHRC Working Group: Leading for Change: A Blueprint for Cultural Diversity and Inclusive Leadership

Australian Human Rights Commission Working Group Leading for Change: A Blueprint for Cultural Diversity and Inclusive Leadership, The Commission, Sydney, 2016 The Working Group was chaired by Tim Soutphommasane, Race Discrimination Commissioner, and included Greg Whitwell, Rae Cooper, Ainslie Van

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Sparrow, Jeff: The greyhound ban and the working man: what exactly does “working class culture” mean?

Sparrow, Jeff ‘The greyhound ban and the working man: what exactly does “working class culture” mean?‘ Guardian Australia, 21 July 2016 Explores the idea that the proposed ban on greyhound racing in New South Wales will particularly affect something called

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HILDA tells an Australian story about wealth and poverty – and there is an international angle as well

HILDA stands for the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia survey and it has been run by the Melbourne Institute since 2001. It is one of many surveys and studies reporting on inequality in Australia. Honest History has been

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Fielding, Victoria: The big election story the media missed

Fielding, Victoria ‘The big election story the media missed‘, New Matilda, 7 July 2016 PhD student writes on the lack of attention during the election campaign to growing inequality. (The Honest History website has collected extensive resources on inequality.) She

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Megarrity, Lyndon: Northern Dreams, National Realities: The Life and Times of Dr Rex Patterson

Megarrity, Lyndon Research Report 46: Northern Dreams, National Realities: The Life and Times of Dr Rex Patterson, TJ Ryan Foundation, Brisbane, May 2016 Rex Patterson (1927-2016) was Australia’s first minister for portfolios specialising in Northern Australia. After a career in

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Midwinter (almost) Miscellany from Honest History (info-brokers to the gentry)

Illness has cut a swathe through the Honest History engine-room this week so the remaining HH elves have been forced to bundle some useful links together below. The bundling exercise also warmed us up in an unusually cold Canberra early

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Honest History Miscellany of the June Long Weekend

Some of our Honest History software fell over late on Thursday last week. Thanks to some sleuthing by our indefatigable Webmaster we got it back on track by late Saturday but it meant there was a buildup of new posts

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Which bank do you know? Some notes from Humphrey McQueen on Australian banking history

‘Which bank do you know? Some notes from Humphrey McQueen on Australian banking history’, Honest History, 7 June 2016 and updated [*] The distinguished Australian historian, Humphrey McQueen, has sent Honest History extensive notes distilling his recent research on the

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Leigh, Andrew: Markets, monopolies and moguls: the relationship between inequality and competition

Leigh, Andrew ‘Markets, monopolies and moguls: the relationship between inequality and competition: John Freebairn Lecture in Public Policy, University of Melbourne, 19 May 2016‘, Andrew Leigh MP website, 20 May 2016 Like a large tree that overshadows the saplings around

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Jericho, Greg: Myths of the neoliberal economic model

Jericho, Greg ‘It’s time to expose the myths of the neoliberal economic model‘, Guardian Australia, 30 May 2016 Election commentary which takes a broad historical sweep. The writer looks at trend figures for GDP growth going back 20, 30 and

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Salvation Army: Out of Reach: National Economic and Social Impact Survey 2016

Salvation Army Out of Reach: National Economic and Social Impact Survey 2016, Salvation Army Australia (Southern Territory and Eastern Territory), Melbourne and Sydney, 2016 The survey of 1600 Salvation Army clients found: Respondents affected by family violence were most affected

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Bright, Denis: The income divide in Australia: The return of class-based politics?

Bright, Denis ‘The income divide in Australia: the return of class-based politics?‘, Australian Independent Media Network, 19 May 2016 Gets beyond the politics of campaigning to look at some statistics – some of which have been used previously in the

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Pascoe, Bruce: Dark Emu: Black Seeds, Agriculture or Accident?

Pascoe, Bruce Dark Emu: Black Seeds, Agriculture or Accident? Magabala Books, Broome WA, 2014 Dark Emu argues for a reconsideration of the “hunter-gatherer” tag for pre-colonial Aboriginal Australians and attempts to rebut the colonial myths that have worked to justify

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Commonwealth Budget 2016 and the size and direction of government

‘Commonwealth Budget 2016 and the size and direction of government’, Honest History, 5 May 2016 updated There has been lots of Budget analysis. Honest History wishes only to note the specifically commemorative elements and pick out some other aspects that

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McAuley, Ian: How the deficit obsession is eroding the budget’s usefulness

McAuley, Ian ‘How the deficit obsession is eroding the budget’s usefulness‘, The Conversation, 21 April 2016 Over many years the budget has morphed from an economic statement explaining how the government allocates resources, to a fiscal statement. The emphasis has

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Kaine, Sarah: State of the union(s): perfect storm weakened workers’ voices

Kaine, Sarah ‘The state of the union(s): how a perfect storm weakened the workers’ voices‘, The Conversation, 21 April 2016 The author says that, given the current political focus on unions, an observer would think Australian unions were at the

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Twenty-five years since Deaths in Custody Royal Commission: Honest History miscellany

‘Twenty-five years since Deaths in Custody Royal Commission: Honest History miscellany’, Honest History, 15 April 2016 Taking a line through the dozen or so news reports and pieces of commentary below, we do not attempt any summing up other than

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Stephens, David: Bill Shorten’s Royal Commission proposal: Labor and banks go way, way back

Stephens, David ‘Bill Shorten’s Royal Commission proposal: Labor and the banks go way, way back‘, Pearls and Irritations, 9 April 2016 and updated Update of some earlier material on the Honest History site about the history of Labor’s relations with

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Labor call for banking Royal Commission has historical echoes aplenty

Update 9 April 2016: updated article on Pearls and Irritation website. ______________ Opposition Leader Shorten has called for a Royal Commission into Australia’s banking industry, following scandals about financial advice and market manipulation. This issue will presumably be caught up

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Jabour, Bridie: Boomers and millenials: not intergenerational but class warfare

Jabour, Bridie ‘Boomers and millenials: this is not intergenerational warfare, it’s class warfare‘, Guardian Australia, 6 April 2016 Talk about intergenerational conflict is really about class conflict, based on differential access to capital, particularly housing. Some millenials can rely on

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Colebatch, Tim: Australia’s urban boom: the latest evidence

Colebatch, Tim ‘Australia’s urban boom: the latest evidence‘, Inside Story, 5 April 2016 Sometime over the next three months, Sydney’s population will reach five million. If Melbourne keeps growing at its current pace, by 2020 it too will have five million

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Brennan, Frank: Deja vu for Timor as Turnbull neglects boundary talks

Brennan, Frank ‘Deja vu for Timor as Turnbull neglects boundary talks‘, Eureka Street, 21 March 2016 Looks at the history of and recent developments in the boundary dispute between Timor Leste and Australia. Oil and gas lies beneath the sea

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Half the world away at home (review of Connor, Stanley & Yule)

‘Half the world away at home’ (review of Connor, Stanley & Yule), Honest History, 15 March 2016 Derek Abbott* reviews The War at Home: The Centenary History of Australia and the Great War Volume 4, by John Connor, Peter Stanley

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Bentley, Tom & Jonathan West: Time for a new consensus

Bentley, Tom & Jonathan West ‘Time for a new consensus: fostering Australia’s comparative advantages‘, Griffith Review 51 supplement, March 2016; available as pdf and electronically Australia has emerged from a spectacular resources boom without any clear approach to achieving growth

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Cox, Eva: Feminism has failed and needs a rethink

Cox, Eva ‘Feminism has failed and needs a rethink‘, The Conversation, 8 March 2016 The author says women achieved formal legal equality ‘but moving past that into wider social equity changes seems definitely to have stalled’. Partly due to neo-liberalism,

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Wilkie, Douglas: La Trobe’s decision to postpone gold exploitation until after 1851

Wilkie, Douglas ‘Ten thousand fathoms deep: Charles Joseph La Trobe’s decision to postpone gold exploitation until after Separation from New South Wales in 1851‘, La Trobeana, 14, 1, March 2015, pp. 6-14 The beginning of the Victorian gold rushes and

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Decimal currency came in 50 years ago and some of us have never got the song out of our heads

‘On the fourteenth of February, 1966 …’. The TV advertisement which softened us up for the change. That wretched song and a didactic dollar bill (the tune is ‘Click go the shears’ for those who do not recognise it). Someone

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It’s a system, dammit, not a horse-race (review of Griffith Review 51)

‘It’s a system, dammit, not a horse-race’ (review of Griffith Review 51), Honest History, 2 February 2016 David Stephens reviews Griffith Review 51, ‘Fixing the system’, edited by Julianne Schultz and Anne Tiernan  Once upon a time gentlemen who made

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Schultz, Julianne, Anne Tiernan, et al.: Fixing the system

Schultz, Julianne, Anne Tiernan, et al. ‘Fixing the system‘, Griffith Review, 51, January 2016, available online to subscribers Collection of nearly thirty essays on how to foster ‘a society that really works’. Authors include the editors, Carmen Lawrence, Chris Wallace,

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Headon, David & John Uhr, ed.: Eureka: Australia’s greatest story

Headon, David & John Uhr, ed. Eureka: Australia’s Greatest Story, Federation Press, Sydney, 2015; electronic version available Papers from a conference held in Canberra, December 2014, plus some additional papers. The editors of this book boldly proclaim that Eureka is

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Wilkie, Douglas: Melbourne reacts to Bathurst gold discoveries, 1851

Wilkie, Douglas ‘Exodus and panic: Melbourne’s reaction to the Bathurst gold discoveries of May 1851‘, Victorian Historical Journal, 85, 2, December 2014, pp. 189-218 Sober consideration of the evidence confirms what was known at the time – that reactions to

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Eltham, Ben: for a new thing, innovation has been around for a while

Eltham, Ben ‘Malcolm “Boom Boom” Turnbull is an old ideas man‘, New Matilda, 10 December 2015 Anyone older than 40 should be able to remember at least three ‘innovation statements’ by Australian governments. They may also have a shelf of

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Three essays on the Cronulla riots 10 years on

Update 14 December 2015: the World Socialist Web Site weighs in with some detailed analysis of the court decision on the proposed Cronulla commemorative barbecue by the Party for Freedom. WSWS has also sent us a link to its 2006

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Powell, Graeme with Stuart Macintyre: Land of opportunity (Post-War Reconstruction archives)

Powell, Graeme with Stuart Macintyre Land of Opportunity: Australia’s Post-War Reconstruction, National Archives of Australia, Canberra, 2015 This is 336 pages (30 chapters) of guidance to the files of the National Archives of Australia on a crucial decade of Australia’s

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Whiteford, Peter: is welfare sustainable?

Whiteford, Peter ‘Is welfare sustainable?‘ Inside Story, 22 November 2015 Looks at recent government statements about social services expenditure then moves on to detailed historical consideration of the issue. Most of the graphs go back to 1995 and cover, for

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Eureka 161 years on: Honest History miscellany

‘Eureka 161 years on: Honest History miscellany’, Honest History, 1 December 2015 Thursday this week, 3 December, is the 161st anniversary of Eureka. Honest History has collected resources on Eureka over the last couple of years and here are links

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Bongiorno, Frank: The Eighties: Decade that Transformed Australia

Bongiorno, Frank The Eighties: The Decade that Transformed Australia, Black Inc, Collingwood, Vic, 2015; hardback and electronic It was the era of Hawke and Keating, Kylie and INXS, the America’s Cup and the Bicentenary. It was perhaps the most controversial

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The eighties in nine chapters (review of Bongiorno)

‘The eighties in nine chapters’ (review of Bongiorno), Honest History, 1 December 2015 Janet Wilson* reviews The Eighties: The Decade that Transformed Australia by Frank Bongiorno __________________________ Among the words and phrases that entered the lexicon in the 1980s are

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Do we really have an ‘egalitarian, fair-go culture’?

Last night the prime minister told Leigh Sales on 7.30 that Australia had a ‘strong, egalitarian, fair-go culture’ and that whatever was done with tax reform had to fit with that culture. Is the prime minister too boffo about our

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Bottoms, Timothy: Cairns: city of the South Pacific

Bottoms, Timothy Cairns: City of the South Pacific: a History 1770-1995, Bunu Bunu Press, Cairns, 2015 The township of Cairns was established in the wake of the Palmer River Gold rush of 1873, and established as a port for the

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Smith, Evan: Australia and the fascist idea of Greater Britain

Smith, Evan ‘Australia and the fascist idea of Greater Britain‘, Imperial & Global Forum, 9 November 2015 Guest blog by an Australian scholar. Shows how important to Oswald Mosley’s 1930s British Union of Fascists (BUF) was to the maintenance of

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Inequality becoming a bigger issue for Australians

We noted the latest Scanlon Foundation Social Cohesion Survey report. There was an interesting result on this question at page 44 of the report: ‘In Australia today, the gap between those with high incomes and those with low incomes is too large’. Of respondents

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Hudson, Marc: 25 years of emissions cuts history

Hudson, Marc ‘25 years ago the Australian government promised deep emissions cuts, and yet here we still are‘, The Conversation, 9 October 2015 Looks at ‘the largely forgotten history’ of the 25 years since the then minister brought Australia’s first

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Inequality news keeps breaking over our ‘egalitarian’ homeland

The excellent online publication The Conversation provides an opportunity for academics of sprightly mind to engage in evidence-based public debate and get their views to a large, mostly non-academic audience. (Audience figures here are not too shabby, with a claim

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Jericho, Greg: poorest will go under as living standards ebb

Jericho, Greg ‘As the “rising tide” of living standards starts to ebb, the poorest will go under‘, Guardian Australia, 19 September 2015 Close summary analysis of the NATSEM report recently released. See also our collection of material on inequality, with

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Beams, Nick: PM Turnbull and China

Beams, Nick ‘Foreign policy dilemmas confront new Australian PM over China‘, World Socialist Web Site, 18 September 2015 Long article dissecting the new prime minister’s attitudes to China taking note of some key speeches. A useful addition to whatever analysis

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Phillips, Ben: living standard trends in Australia

Phillips, Ben Living Standard Trends in Australia: Report for Anglicare Australia, NATSEM, University of Canberra, September 1915 The report compares the living standards of different household types across the country: how they have changed since 2004 and how they are

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Inequality – six of the best from Andrew Leigh MP: highlights reel

‘Inequality – six of the best from Andrew Leigh, MP: highlights reel’, Honest History, 1 September 2015 Inequality has been a special interest of Honest History, as we have noted the procession of reporting organisations confirming Australia’s growing reputation in

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Review note: Stuart Macintyre’s Australia’s Boldest Experiment

‘Review note: Stuart Macintyre’s Australia’s Boldest Experiment‘, Honest History, 19 August 2015 updated World War I is far enough back for spruikers of a particular view of it to extract bits selectively from, say, the ambivalent Charles Bean and impress

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Glover, Dennis: unmaking of Australian working class

Glover, Dennis ‘The unmaking of the Australian working class – and their right to resist‘, The Conversation, 3 August 2015 An edited extract from the author’s book, An Economy is Not a Society: Winners and Losers in the New Australia.

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Heaton, Barbara Carol: coal miners during World War II

Heaton, Barbara Carol* ‘A history of unrest and turmoil: coal miners during World War II’, Honest History, 4 August 2015 An examination of coal mining in wartime, drawing heavily on resources collected by former mining official, Jim Comerford, and now

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Coal miners during World War II

Barbara Carol Heaton* ‘A history of unrest and turmoil: coal miners during World War II’, Honest History, 4 August 2015 Controversy continues over the role of militant unions in Australia during World War II. While the sharpest focus has been

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ACOSS: inequality in Australia

ACOSS Inequality in Australia: a Nation Divided, Australian Council of Social Services, Strawberry Hills, NSW, 2015 Summary of key findings Income Inequality Inequality in Australia is higher than the OECD average – a person in the top 20% income group

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Bosler, Danae: Australian novels by radical women

Bosler, Danae ‘Labour in vain: the forgotten novels of Australia’s radical women‘, Overland, 16 June 2015 Brief survey of novels by Betty Collins, Jean Devanny, Dorothy Hewett, Amanda Lohrey and others. These novels are seminal Australian texts because of their

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Buckley, Ian: learning from Adam Smith

Buckley, Ian ‘Learning from Adam Smith: help at hand today‘, Honest History, 9 June 2015 Buckley contests the view that Adam Smith argued ‘that unalloyed selfishness aimed solely at the maximisation of production, trade and profit is in the best

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Dyrenfurth, Nick: Mateship

Dyrenfurth, Nick Mateship: A Very Australian History, Scribe, Brunswick, Vic., 2014 In the first book-length exploration of our secular creed, one of Australia’s leading young historians and public commentators turns mateship’s history upside down. Did you know that the first

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OECD: In it together: why less inequality benefits all … in Australia

OECD In It Together: Why Less Inequality Benefits All … in Australia, OECD, 21 May 2015 This is the Australia-oriented summary takeout from a broader OECD project. The material at the link includes graphs on income inequality trends and a

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Batt, Peter J. et al: pillars of the economy

Batt, Peter J. et al ‘Five pillar economy,’ The Conversation, 27 April-11 May 2015 The articles take up a 2013 theme of prime minister Abbott (‘the five pillar economy’) and look at agriculture (Batt), education (Michael Coelli), mining (Anne Garnett),

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CEDA: entrenched economic disadvantage in Australia

Committee for Economic Development of Australia Addressing Economic Disadvantage in Australia, CEDA, Melbourne, 2015 This report was released on 21 April 2015. It was described as ‘a policy perspective examining issues associated with the economics of disadvantage’. In other words,

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Keating, Michael & John Menadue, ed.: Fairness, opportunity and security

Keating, Michael & John Menadue, ed. ‘Fairness, opportunity and security: a policy series‘, Pearls and Irritations, 11 May 2015 (updated) Update 27 May 2015: There have been 20 or so papers already on democratic renewal, the role of government, foreign

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McAuley, Ian: Australia’s ‘big government’ myth

McAuley, Ian ‘Busting the myth that Australia has “big government”‘, The Conversation, 8 May 2015 The reality is that Australia’s public expenditure, as a percentage of GDP, has shown no discernible upward trend for the last 35 years, and that

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Wise, Nathan: Anzac Labour

Wise, Nathan Anzac Labour: Workplace Cultures in the Australian Imperial Force during the First World War, Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2014 Anzac Labour explores the horror, frustration and exhaustion surrounding working life in the Australian Imperial Force during the First World War.

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Anzac Labour reviewed

‘Anzac Labour reviewed’, Honest History, 14 April 2014 Paddy Gourley reviews Nathan Wise’s book Anzac Labour: Workplace Cultures in the Australian Imperial Force during the First World War If most books about the military in war concentrate on the description

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What is the state for?

‘A good society is one characterised by a collective concern with social justice and a capacity to act in pursuit of that objective. That this case even has to be made is symptomatic of the pervasive influence of neoliberalism during the

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The benefits of banking oligopoly

‘The Australian banking industry is the most concentrated in the world and also the most profitable. In fact the “big four” Australian banks make up four of the eight most profitable banks in the world. The big banks have conceded that

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Denniss, Richard: Economists and Manning Clark

Denniss, Richard ‘What economists can learn from Manning Clark: 2015 Manning Clark lecture, Australian National University, Canberra, 3 March 2015‘, Manning Clark House This is an audio of the lecture plus a separate audio of questions and answers. It may

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Gregory, Mark: Australian working songs and poems

Gregory, Mark Australian Working Songs and Poems: a Rebel Heritage, Ph. D. thesis, School of Humanities and Social Inquiry, University of Wollongong, 2014 The thesis analyses 150 poems and songs about work and working conditions, with an emphasis on rights,

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Military-industrial complex has suburban reach: Honest History Factsheet

Update 20 June 2016: Canadian example of how an arms manufacturer manipulates the local employment angle. __________________ Since the days of muskets and Gatling guns Australian forces have used weapons built somewhere else. In the modern era, being locked into

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McQueen, Humphrey: Australian women in the early 1980s

McQueen, Humphrey ‘The hand that pours the gin’, Gone Tomorrow: Australia in the 80s, Angus & Robertson, Sydney, 1982, chapter 8 (pdfs of out-of-copyright material made available by the author) The chapter uses the medium of women’s magazines to show

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Tiffen, Rodney: Strategic omissions: Howard on Menzies

Tiffen, Rodney ‘Strategic omissions‘, Inside Story, 29 January 2015 A review of John Howard’s The Menzies Era: the Years that Shaped Modern Australia. The greatest appeal of the book is that it is written from the perspective of an experienced

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Howard, John: Menzies era

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Jakubowicz, Andrew: Nine race riots that made Australia

Jakubowicz, Andrew ‘The nine race riots that made Australia – for better and worse‘, The Conversation, 9 January 2015 Spin-off from Peter FitzSimons’s television program, The Great Australian Race Riot, on SBS-TV. The author, a consultant to the program, suggests

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Bengsen, Andrew: Rabbits of Christmas past

Bengsen, Andrew ‘The rabbits of Christmas past: a present that backfired for Australia‘, The Conversation, 22 December 2014 Examines the history of rabbits in Australia from their introduction in 1859 to now, when they are present in 70 per cent

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McQueen, Humphrey: From Eureka stockades

McQueen, Humphrey ‘From Eureka stockades: Eureka Dinner, Adelaide, 15 November 2014‘, Chris White Online, 20 November 2014 Notes the development of conservative Legislative Councils after Eureka and parallels with modern politics. Also recalls that the miners’ objections in 1854 to

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Stephens, David: Does the banker still hold all the cards?

Stephens, David ‘Does the banker still hold all the cards?‘ Honest History, 24 November 2014 and updated A historical view of some aspects of banking policy, inspired by a recent piece from The Australia Institute targeting the concentration of banking

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Does the banker still hold all the cards?

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Watson, Don: The Bush

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Questions from a worker who reads

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Highlights reel: ACOSS Poverty Report 2014

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Henry, Ken: Public policy and economic reform

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Wesley, Michael: Meaning of China

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Cahill, Damien & Frank Stilwell. ed.: Australian economic boom

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Humphrys, Elizabeth: Birth of Australia

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Honest History list: inequality by the dozen

You can now find our inequality resources linked from here. 14 November 2015

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Chubb, Ian: No free rides to science future

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Masanauskas, John: Melbourne pictures

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Water, water not everywhere

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Political pledges

We are not free to break our word, abandon our principles, desert our party, betray our constituents. But the pledge cannot prevent us doing any one or all of those things if our inclination lies in that direction. (William Morris

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Class War 1930

I … a member of the working class do hereby solemnly swear to protect the working class against armed and other aggression of our capitalist class enemy… should I betray the trust imposed upon me I will receive the scorn

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Primordial state

The early circumstances of New South Wales were against its rapid growth. Founded as a receptacle for convicts, a system akin to slavery soon took root. Such of the early settlers as were neither gentlemen nor convicts belonged to the

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If equality returns

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Richardson, David & Denniss, Richard: Income and wealth inequality

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Grosjean, Pauline & Rose Khattar: It’s raining men

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Bongiorno, Frank: Labour and Anzac

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McQueen, Humphrey: Anzac: a class struggle

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Highlights reel: HB Higgins on the yellow peril

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Hoskins, Ian: NSW coast

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Douglas, Bob et al: Inequality in Australia

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Leslie Jauncey writes to a grieving Amy O’Malley (12 June 2014)

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Rundle, Guy: Culturestate

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Burnside, Sarah: Alternatives to Anzac Day

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Lake, Marilyn: Minimum wage

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Whiteford, Peter: Income and wealth inequality

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Cain, Frank: Wobblies and World War I

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Young, Linda: Subversive jewellery

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Bongiorno, Frank: Dirty work

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Leigh, Andrew: Eureka Lecture 2013

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Murphy, DJ: TJ Ryan biography

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Starr, Michelle: Best Aussie inventions

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Colebatch, Hal GP: Australia’s secret war

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McQueen, Humphrey: Eureka Dinner 2013

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McCalman, Iain: Barrier reef

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Masters, Chris: Years that made us

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Hillier, Ben & Tom O’Lincoln: Capitalism in Australia

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Armstrong, Mick: Riots in Australia

Armstrong, Mick ‘Disturbing the peace: riots and the working class‘, Marxist Left Review, 4, Winter 2012 In this article [Mick writes] I want to look at the long and proud history of riots in Australia and take on the arguments

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Dyrenfurth, Nick & Frank Bongiorno: Labor Party

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Wright, Clare: Forgotten rebels of Eureka

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Macintyre, Stuart: The Reds

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Faulkner, John & Stuart Macintyre, ed.: True believers

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McMullin, Ross: Light on the hill

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McMullin, Ross: So monstrous a travesty

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Isaac, Joe & Stuart Macintyre, ed.: New province

Isaac, Joe & Stuart Macintyre, ed. The New Province for Law and Order: 100 Years of Australian Industrial Conciliation and Arbitration, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge & New York, 2004 Commemorating the centenary of the Australian system of settling industrial disputes –

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Megalogenis, George: Australian moment

Megalogenis, George The Australian Moment: How We Were Made for These Times, Viking, Melbourne, Vic., 2013 [The author] examines how we developed from a closed economy racked by the oil shocks, toughed it out during the sometimes devastating growing pains

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Knox, Malcolm: Boom

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Blainey, Geoffrey: Rush that never ended

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Australian Council of Trade Unions: 75th anniversary

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Australian National University: Noel Butlin Archives

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University of Melbourne: Archives

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ATUA multiple authors: Australian trade union archives

ATUA multiple authors Australian Trade Union Archives Portal to archival resources, published material and information about Australian industrial organisations, mainly including trade unions and also employer bodies.

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Gallop, Geoff & Greg Patmore, ed.: Social democracy and business

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Murray, Georgina & Jenny Chesters: Wealth and power

Murray, Georgina & Jenny Chesters ‘Economic wealth and political power in Australia, 1788-2010‘, Labour History, 103, November 2012 Although Australia is sometimes regarded as an egalitarian society, evidence shows that inequalities in the distribution of wealth are pronounced. We note

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Hearn, Mark & Greg Patmore, ed.: Working the nation

Hearn, Mark & Greg Patmore, ed. Working the Nation: Working Life and Federation, 1890-1914, Pluto Press, Annandale, NSW, 2001 The book explores the impact of Federation on working life in Australia 1890-1914 and how national policy development affected ‘the working

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Gollan, RA: Radical and working class politics

Gollan, RA Radical and Working Class Politics: A Study of Eastern Australia, 1850-1910, Melbourne University Press, Carlton, Vic., 1960; later editions Like Ward’s Australian Legend, a pioneering work which set up a particular image of Australian society and politics which

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Ward, Russel: Australian Legend

Ward, Russel The Australian Legend, Oxford University Press, Melbourne & New York, 1958; many later editions Origin of a particular myth of bronzed Australian bushmen, rural labourers of the 19th century, claimed by Ward and others to epitomise Australia, or

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McLean, Ian W: Why Australia prospered

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Evans, MDR & Jonathan Kelley with Peter Dawkins, et al Australian Economy and Society 2001: Education, Work, Welfare, The Federation Press, Annandale, NSW, 2002 The book provides data for the later decades of the 2oth century on six broad areas,

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Cochrane, Peter: Industrialization and dependence

Cochrane, Peter Industrialization and Dependence: Australia’s Road to Economic Development, 1870-1939, University of Queensland Press, St Lucia, Qld, 1980; downloadable Shows how Australian industrial development in these years was built on close economic integration with Britain.

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About The sweat of our brows

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Broomhill, Ray: Australian economic booms

Broomhill, Ray ‘Australian economic booms in historical perspective‘, Journal of Australian Political Economy, 61, June 2008, pp. 12-29 Part of a special issue on The Australian Economic Boom 1992-? including a number of articles relevant to economic and social policy

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Leigh, Andrew: Brief economic history

Leigh, Andrew What Do We Eat after the Low-Hanging Fruit? A Brief Economic History of Australia, with Some Lessons for the Future, Speech to the McKell Institute, 18 May 2012 (audio, text and Q & A) The low-hanging fruit were

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McLean, Ian: Australian economic growth

McLean, Ian Australian Economic Growth in Historical Perspective: A Survey for the Economic Record, School of Economics Working Paper 2004-01, University of Adelaide, May 2004 Combines traditional interpretations and insights from recent growth analysis. Extensive bibliography. Australia’s (modern) economy was

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Robertson, Paul L.: Resource based or resource cursed?

Robertson, Paul L. Resource Based or Resource Cursed? A Brief (and Selective) History of the Australian Economy since 1901,  Australian Innovation Research Centre, University of Tasmania, AIRC Working Paper Series WP/0108. November 2008 (Pdf accessible from ecite.utas.edu.au) Discusses Australia’s historical

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Haig, Bryan: Australian GDP

Haig, Bryan ‘New estimates of Australian GDP: 1861-1948/49‘, Australian Economic History Review, 41, 1, March 2001, pp. 1-34 Surveys statistics from the earliest days of their collection. Useful bibliography to 2001. Suggests that national accounting data are of little use

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Australian Medical Association: More than just a union

Australian Medical Association More Than Just a Union: A History of the AMA, AMA, Canberra, 2012; downloadable A brief history, describing the development of the profession, changes in medicine and the role of the AMA in politics.

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Higgins, Winton: Standards Australia

Higgins, Winton Engine of Change: Standards Australia since 1922, Brandl & Schlesinger, Blackheath, NSW, 2005 Traces the history of the national standards body and the contribution of standards to our standard of living and quality of life. Without standards, virtually

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ASHET multiple authors: Engineering history

ASHET multiple authors Australian Society for History of Engineering and Technology Links to material about aspects of this sector, including articles on aviation, locomotion, bridges, telephones, frozen meat and sheep shearing.

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Australia: Australian inventions

Australia Australian Inventions Portal site linking to many resources about the history of Australian inventing. Australian inventions have assisted with everyday activities such as hanging out the clothes to dry on a rotary washing line, putting food into the fridge

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Irving, Terence H & Sean Scalmer: Labour intellectuals

Irving, Terence H & Sean Scalmer ‘Labour intellectuals in Australia: modes, traditions, generations, transformations‘, International Review of Social History, 50, 1, 2005, pp. 1-26 The labour movement has been replete with educators, readers, advocates, stirrers, brokers, editors, writers, painters, theorists,

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Dyrenfurth, Nick, Mark Hearn & Harry Knowles, ed.: Fisher

Dyrenfurth, Nick, Mark Hearn & Harry Knowles, ed. ‘The Fisher Labor Government, 1910-13‘, Labour History, 102, May 2012 Collection of articles to mark the centenary of the first majority Labour government anywhere in the world. Hearn and Dyrenfurth set the

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Lake, Marilyn: This great America

Lake, Marilyn ‘“This great America”: HB Higgins and Transnational Progressivism‘, Historical Studies, 44, 2, June 2013, pp. 172-88 Australian history has not always been about our need to retain great and powerful friends. There have been times when the rest

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Martinez, Julia T.: Questioning White Australia

Martinez, Julia T. ‘Questioning “White Australia”: unionism and “coloured” labour, 1911-1937‘, Labour History, 76, pp. 1-19 The “White Australia” policy is associated with the Immigration Restriction Act in 1901 and the exclusion of “coloured” labour from Australia. After 1901, however,

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Jupp, James: White Australia to Woomera

Jupp, James From White Australia to Woomera: The Story of Australian Immigration, Cambridge University Press, New York, 2nd edition, 2007; first published 2002 [S]urveys the changes in policy over the last thirty years since the seismic shift away from the

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Lake, Marilyn & Henry Reynolds: Global Colour Line

Lake, Marilyn & Henry Reynolds Drawing the Global Colour Line: White Men’s Countries and the International Challenge of Racial Equality, Cambridge University Press, New York, 2008; e-book and print on demand available Places Australia’s late 19th and early 20th century

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Lake, Marilyn: Getting equal

Lake, Marilyn Getting Equal: The History of Australian Feminism, Allen & Unwin, St Leonards, NSW, 1999 Getting Equal is the first full-length history of the movements – and their feisty, ebullient, determined leaders – who fought for women’s political and economic rights,

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Whiteford, Peter: Poverty

Whiteford, Peter ‘Poverty in a time of prosperity‘, Inside Story, 15 September 2013 Over the past forty years the economic fortunes of Australian households have fallen into two fairly distinct periods. In the “disappointing decades” of the 1970s and 1980s,

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Waterhouse, Richard: Vision splendid

Waterhouse, Richard The Vision Splendid: A Social and Cultural History of Rural Australia, Curtin University Books, Fremantle, WA, 2005 Describes how ‘the Bush’, where most Australians do not live, has played an important part in shaping national identity. This is

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Robin, Libby & Tom Griffiths: Environmental history

Robin, Libby & Tom Griffiths ‘Environmental history in Australasia‘, Environment and History, 10, 2004, pp. 439-74 Critical analysis of much writing in the field in both Australia and New Zealand.

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Sherratt, Tim, Tom Griffiths & Libby Robin, ed.: Change

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Griffiths, Tom: Forests of Ash

Griffiths, Tom Forests of Ash: An Environmental History, Cambridge University Press, Port Melbourne, Vic., 2001 This beautifully written and presented book tells the story of Australia’s giant eucalypt, the mountain ash. Dependent on fire for its survival, the mountain ash

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Rose, Deborah Bird & Richard Davis, ed.: Dislocating

Rose, Deborah Bird & Richard Davis, ed. Dislocating the Frontier: Essaying the Mystique of the Outback, ANU E Press, Canberra, 2006 (free formats and print on demand) The frontier is one of the most pervasive concepts underlying the production of

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Flannery, Tim: Future eaters

Flannery, Tim The Future Eaters: An Ecological History of the Australasian Lands and People, Reed Books, Chatswood, NSW, 1994; later editions, including Reed New Holland 2006 This is the story of how human beings have consumed the resources they need

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Rolls, Eric: Australia biography

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Anderson, Deb: Drought, endurance

Anderson, Deb ‘Drought, endurance and ‘The way things were’: the lived experience of climate and climate change in the Mallee‘, Australian Humanities Review, 45, November 2008 Oral history piece on how experience of regular drought came together with experience of

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Rawson, DW: Labor in vain

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Latham, Mark: Suburbs

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Brett, Judith: Country, city and state

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Murray, Robert: Split

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Hughes, Barry: Full employment

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Farrell, Frank: International Socialism

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Crisp, LF: Federal Labor

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Butlin, NG, et al: Government and capitalism

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