The logic of the policy changes initiated by the Hawke government in mid-1990 has underpinned asylum-seeker policy for much of the quarter-century since.
There is little of Gareth Evans’ sweeping analysis in the cabinet papers of 1990-91 of a rapidly changing world order or of his vision of good international citizenship.
Kerry O'Brien has provided the platform for Paul Keating to define his political career, explain what drove his reform agenda and cement his position as one of Australia's greatest leaders.
Australia’s Constitution sets the ground rules for its system of government. But many things one might expect to be in the Constitution are simply not there.
The story of German migration to South Australia can highlight the experience of diverse communities, and what can happen to them in a time of serious conflict.
If Anthony Albanese becomes Labor leader, Australians will have the strongest ideological and stylistic contrast in major party leaders since Malcolm Fraser and Bob Hawke 33 years before.
Debate, serious discussion and deliberation are valued highly in a democracy not just for their own sake, but because they are considered essential to testing the quality of ideas and arguments.
In the 1980s Australians grappled with the challenges of living in an era that brought together boom and crisis, nationalism and globalisation, confidence and anxiety, and conservatism and exuberance.
The story of Australia’s multicultural future needs to be informed by an understanding of the past. Those who do not know history’s mistakes are doomed to repeat them.
History offers countless examples of social change that is now consolidated and popularly supported, but which was only achieved through protests that were judged at the time to be extreme.
Is the Dismissal a moment that will become even more significant if the push for Australia to become a republic gains momentum?
The way in which Bob Wilesmith’s footage has come to dominate Australians’ recollection of The Dismissal is a story of prescience, luck and the limitations of the TV news technology of the day.
Sir John Kerr probably made his own decision to dismiss the Whitlam government much earlier than he acknowledged publicly while alive – but he came to this conclusion in discussion with others.
In comments reported in a new book to mark the 40th anniversary of the dismissal of Gough Whitlam, Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott offer sharply differing views.
Tax reform will be a hard sell, even for a prime minister of Malcolm Turnbull’s standing and imagination.
Tony Abbott’s Margaret Thatcher Lecture, delivered in London on Tuesday night, provides a fitting epitaph to his government.
In leadership contests in particular, the media’s role is often markedly different from the competition between parties.
Faction Man is a product of Black Inc. From their perspective, Bill Shorten – and his fascination with grimy Labor machine politics – is an alien figure.
The Abbott government resisted the disruptive changes of the 21st century. To succeed, the Turnbull government will need to shed this reactionary mindset and embrace inevitable change.
In our modern age, reform means essentially mastering necessity – taking what steps are necessary to ensure that one’s country survives and prospers.