Monday, October 11, 2004

I am still at a loss about Saturday’s election results in Australia. More than just miserably reeling from the prospect of another term of Howard, bloated from the success of ‘making history in his fourth term’, but about my fellow Australians who have swallowed the political farce. Who are they? His victory represents an endorsement of all the gut wrenching political rhetoric that doesn’t fit anywhere in my understanding of Australia. It’s made me question what Australia is becoming and what it means to be Australian. I have been calling friends and family and I have been glued to the internet searching for comments, news, opinion to somehow reinforce my own beliefs, my ideals, my values. At this time I have found myself reading lots of aussie blogs (more than my usual favourites) for they offer me a sense of shared community - of personal outrage and disbelief. Being away makes these moments even more acute. According to a Diplomat Survey published Sept 2004, 1 million Australians live outside Australia - 3/4 of them on a permanent or long term basis. That’s an enormous number, which has increased markedly over the last decade (see any links?). It will be interesting (and depressing) to see if this trend continues.

The Menzies Centre for Australian Studies is holding a number of seminars I hope to attend.

14.10.04. The Australian Federal Election. A panel discussion of the Australian election results and the likely consequences.

26.10.04. Anne Summers, AO. Can Women's Equality in Australia be Restored?

27.10.04. Menzies Lecture: Michael L'Estrange (High Commissioner for Australia). The Australia-Britain relationship today: patterns of history, dynamics of change.