Blogging the Bookshelf

Blogging my bookshelf – one book at a time

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Entries Tagged as 'Australiana'

Chifley the Butcher – “Inside the Canberra Press Gallery: Life in the Wedding Cake of Old Parliament House” – Rob Chalmers

June 7th, 2012 · Comments Off on Chifley the Butcher – “Inside the Canberra Press Gallery: Life in the Wedding Cake of Old Parliament House” – Rob Chalmers · Australian Labor Party, Australiana, History, Politics

Like all prime ministers, Chifley had a private phone on his desk—the number known only to his wife, senior colleagues and advisers. It was, of course, a silent number, but apparently was only one digit removed from the number for the butcher shop in the nearby suburb of Manuka. Occasionally, the phone would ring and […]

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Freudenberg and Advance Australia Fair – “Inside the Canberra Press Gallery: Life in the Wedding Cake of Old Parliament House” – Rob Chalmers

June 2nd, 2012 · Comments Off on Freudenberg and Advance Australia Fair – “Inside the Canberra Press Gallery: Life in the Wedding Cake of Old Parliament House” – Rob Chalmers · Australian Labor Party, Australiana, Culture, History, Music

Graham Freudenberg’s skill as a subeditor played a part in the Fraser Government settling on Advance Australia Fair as the national anthem. Long before Paul Keating initiated the move to a republic, the Whitlam Government decided to ditch God Save the Queen as the anthem, arousing outrage among monarchists and joy among republicans. At the […]

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McEwen and Johnson – “Inside the Canberra Press Gallery: Life in the Wedding Cake of Old Parliament House” – Rob Chalmers

June 1st, 2012 · Comments Off on McEwen and Johnson – “Inside the Canberra Press Gallery: Life in the Wedding Cake of Old Parliament House” – Rob Chalmers · Australiana, Politics, US Politics, USA

As Prime Minister, McEwen welcomed US President Johnson to Australia for the memorial service for Harold Holt and they hit it off immediately. Both were farmers and both were in the cattle business. Johnson invited McEwen to his Texas ranch—an invitation McEwen later took up. At the ranch, McEwen had a particularly bad time with […]

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Before Partisan Press Secretaries – “Inside the Canberra Press Gallery: Life in the Wedding Cake of Old Parliament House” – Rob Chalmers

May 31st, 2012 · Comments Off on Before Partisan Press Secretaries – “Inside the Canberra Press Gallery: Life in the Wedding Cake of Old Parliament House” – Rob Chalmers · Australiana, History, Journalism, Newspapers, Politics, Spin, The Media

Yet he was surprised to be asked by Leonard whether he would like to be Menzies’ press secretary, succeeding Charles Meeking. Cockburn agreed to be interviewed by Menzies in Canberra. On meeting the Prime Minister, Cockburn told him he had to understand that until 1949 he had not voted for any party but the Labor […]

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The Kingo – “Inside the Canberra Press Gallery: Life in the Wedding Cake of Old Parliament House” – Rob Chalmers

May 30th, 2012 · Comments Off on The Kingo – “Inside the Canberra Press Gallery: Life in the Wedding Cake of Old Parliament House” – Rob Chalmers · Australian Labor Party, Australiana, Democracy

The Kingo was the venue for one of the most important conferences ever held in Canberra: the 22 March 1963 Special Federal Conference of the ALP. There were 36 delegates, six from each State—a form of federalism similarly embodied in the Australian Senate, which has an equal number of senators from each State. The conference […]

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Surveillance at the Kingo – “Inside the Canberra Press Gallery: Life in the Wedding Cake of Old Parliament House” – Rob Chalmers 

May 29th, 2012 · Comments Off on Surveillance at the Kingo – “Inside the Canberra Press Gallery: Life in the Wedding Cake of Old Parliament House” – Rob Chalmers  · Australiana, Multi-culturalism, Politics, Security Policy

Like other pubs in Canberra, the Kingston Hotel in Canberra Avenue was home to a number of journalists and was well known to me. Directly opposite the ‘Kingo’ was the Soviet Embassy—a few hundred metres east of Manuka. From a first-floor window in the pub, Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) agents kept a watchful eye […]

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Prayer in Parliament – “Inside the Canberra Press Gallery: Life in the Wedding Cake of Old Parliament House” – Rob Chalmers 

May 29th, 2012 · Comments Off on Prayer in Parliament – “Inside the Canberra Press Gallery: Life in the Wedding Cake of Old Parliament House” – Rob Chalmers  · Atheism, Australiana, Christianity, Democracy, Politics, Religion

Yet many people would believe no prayer is needed, from whatever faith. When the Federal Parliament first met after Federation, no prayer was offered. This led to a storm of protest from various Christian evangelical organisations, the Parliament gave way to the pressure and the prayer became part of proceedings. Gregor McGregor, leader of the […]

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Don Chipp – Customs Minister – “Inside the Canberra Press Gallery: Life in the Wedding Cake of Old Parliament House” – Rob Chalmers 

May 28th, 2012 · Comments Off on Don Chipp – Customs Minister – “Inside the Canberra Press Gallery: Life in the Wedding Cake of Old Parliament House” – Rob Chalmers  · Art, Australiana, Culture, Humour, Politics

Minister for Customs and Excise in the Gorton ministry after the 1969 election, Chipp presented himself as the small-‘l’ liberal who believed in loosening up strict rules relating to the behaviour and rights of citizens. He made a name for himself by removing the ban on the sale of various books, such as Portnoy’s Complaint. […]

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Drunkenness in Australian Parliament – “Inside the Canberra Press Gallery: Life in the Wedding Cake of Old Parliament House” – Rob Chalmers 

May 27th, 2012 · Comments Off on Drunkenness in Australian Parliament – “Inside the Canberra Press Gallery: Life in the Wedding Cake of Old Parliament House” – Rob Chalmers  · Australiana, Culture, History, Politics

One of the more spectacular drunken performances of the 1960s was in the Senate chamber, when Labor Senator from Western Australia Harry Cant found himself seriously drunk and trapped by a division. The doors were locked and the division required Labor senators to cross to the other side of the chamber, sitting in the places […]

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The Hotel Canberra –  “Inside the Canberra Press Gallery: Life in the Wedding Cake of Old Parliament House” – Rob Chalmers

May 26th, 2012 · Comments Off on The Hotel Canberra –  “Inside the Canberra Press Gallery: Life in the Wedding Cake of Old Parliament House” – Rob Chalmers · Australiana, Democracy, History, Politics

Some government MPs stayed at the Hotel Canberra—a convenient stroll from Parliament House. They included Fadden, Richard Casey and Liberal backbenchers such as Joe Gullett, Bill Falkinder and Bruce Graham. After the house rose for the night, there would be some serious drinking in the Hotel Canberra lounge and I occasionally joined in with Don […]

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