The early twentieth century has been a wretched time for many advanced economies, with stagnant real wages and widening inequality opening deep divisions in many societies. It has been suggested that the reality of how many people live is no longer captured by objective indicators of progress such as gross domestic product growth. The lives of many are being shaped by a different set of circumstances, including a health experience which is resulting in a lower life expectancy and in some cases heightened levels of physical and psychological pain.

Don Russell, Leadership, Monash University Publishing, In the National Interest, 2021 pp.54-5} citing William Davies, Nervous States: How Feeling Took Over the World,  Vintage Books, London, 2018

Latest Papers

The working papers collection comprises historical papers as well as current ideas and works in progress on some of the major issues and topics of our times.

Give us this ground.. Corranderk, Maloga, Cummeragunja, Kangaroo Valley... (released 20 June 2024)
How could mainstream society not hear or honour the perennial Aboriginal request for self determination? How could colonial and modern administrations get things so wrong for so long? Perhaps we will understand these things better when we learn of what happens right in the middle of our own small communities and when we can really feel the aspirations of individual people who are only a breath away from us.
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Love Letters: The Romance of Grace Warne & Vernon Hogg 1933-35 (released 14 March 2024)
These letters are a glimpse into another time and place.
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Pleasure Dome (released 28 February 2024)
Anthems, Anti-Heroes & Taylor Swift
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Prodigal Daughter- Taylor Swift (Bonus Track) (released 25 February 2024)
Raffy (he who must be obeyed) cat, kept me awake all night with a 186 Taylor Swift song playlist and he refused to turn it down until I added to what he reckons was a completely superficial initial survey of Swift Power. He was disgusted that I did not understand the true significance of the “22” hat. He also reckoned, The Beatles 1964 (not 1968) invasion of Australia, no comparison with TS Power: . the Beatles on the balcony of the Southern Cross Hotel in Melbourne, 15,000 people at most, maybe 3500 people at their concert; Taylor filled the MCG three times in a row with Grand Final crowds. So please... Okay Raff point taken. He then went on to pontificate about many other serious questions including of course Taylor’s preference for cats over dogs... This alone, according to Raffy, indicates that Taylor is superior to most other human beings. The thing is Raff is correct that Swift Power deserves much more understanding, but my problem is that the more you look at Taylor Swift’s songs and words the deeper and harder you have to go, not something to be accomplished quickly or easily.
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Three Dimensions of Taylor Swift Power (released 23 February 2024)
Not since the Beatles has a musical act captured the imagination of whole cities in Australia like Taylor Swift. Moreover the performances are arguably at a level that even the most sophisticated operas or theatre would be proud of.
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Selected Twitter/X Posts: September – December 2023 (released 15 January 2024)
The first referendum influenced by social media - a modern day disaster.
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Stranger from Hobart (Reprint from 1999) (released 30 July 2023)
"No, the real reason for our apathy is that the most interesting figures, controversies and shortcomings of Australian Federation have been edited out. Even today, or should I say, even more today, the temptation for historians and politicians is to have god and a triumphalist story of federation and Australian democracy on their side. Heaven help the black arm band historians! It’s important to be on top at the turn of a century, and in the era of the 1990s, the great temptation is to be seen as a ‘winner’ and on the side of democracy, officialdom, the legal fraternity and the big end of town."
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Coorora (released 2 July 2023)
A poem for our times..
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Preying/Praying on Isolation (released 1 June 2023)
The ABC’s “survey” of Woorabinda opinions on “The Voice” was a classic story about the many worlds of Aboriginal life. Congratulations to the reporter Rachel McGhee for the insights and people she interviewed...
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The Invincible Spirit of Australia’s Great Aboriginal Ambassador: Jimmy Little (released 29 April 2023)
Anyone who met or saw Jimmy Little sing was struck by his quiet, loving dignity, his unforgettable voice and stage presence. He represented something more - an invincible spirit - a famous trait of his mother's Yorta Yorta culture.
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