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Julie Bishop and Marise Payne have risen to the top in foreign affairs, but their successes may be masking more systemic issues preventing women from advancement. William West/AAP

Diplomacy and defence remain a boys’ club, but women are making inroads

A new report has found a major gender gap persists in Australia's diplomatic, defence and intelligence fields. Australia needs good ideas, and we cannot assume they will all come from the same place.
Since the Whitlam government in 1972, the major parties have taken a similar approach to managing relations with China, albeit with a few key differences. AAP/EPA/Roman Pilipey

No matter who wins the next election, managing the China relationship will be tricky – and vital

No matter who forms government after the next election, managing Australia's relationship with China will continue to be a major challenge, and vitally important in a region remaking itself.
When Tim Storer was sworn in he was escorted by the government and opposition Senate leaders. Lukas Coch/AAP

Grattan on Friday: Tim Storer, the $35 billion man

Tim Storer has one hell of a decision to make shortly after the May budget, when the government plans to bring back its legislation to give tax cuts to big business.
If Bob Day’s election as the twelfth senator from South Australia was invalid it means he is not replaced by a candidate nominated by Family First. Mick Tsikas/AAP

Now-resigned Bob Day may have been ineligible to sit in Senate

Within hours of Bob Day submitting his Senate resignation on Tuesday, the government announced it would move for the High Court to rule on whether he had been ineligible to sit in the upper house.
Australia’s unemployment is 5.5%. How does that stack up internationally? APH

FactCheck: is our unemployment rate low by world standards?

“Australia has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the developed world.” - Finance minister Penny Wong, The Drum opinion article, 14 January. Several ministers, including finance minister Penny Wong…
Penny Wong’s rare moment of sincerity on Q&A betrayed the paucity of Australia’s political commentary. ABC

Penny Wong, Joe Hockey and the dire state of political punditry

If there is a turning point in the Australian debate on same-sex marriage it may well be Penny Wong’s remarkable grace and honesty when answering Joe Hockey on last night’s Q&A. Wong was asked by host…

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