Oh, Senator Cavanagh, well, he just ... he, you know, wasn't particularly bright, as most politicians aren't, you know, especially when they've been union people ... union, you know, officials or secretaries in the Labor parties and they promote them into Parliament of all places, you know. To get them out of the road perhaps. And that ... with say Cavanagh, he came through the union ranks, he was a plasterer, he used to plaster the walls of buildings and all sorts. Well you know you don't get much sensitivity about personal and international and national relationships plastering walls. And so we ... we came into conflict because I don't have a great appreciation of the unions. I don't think much of the union movement. I think they are very reactionary and conservative, protecting only their own and even then they don't do a good job of that and he was in that ... in that area and then he didn't have a great imagination. He didn't have a great intellect and he didn't know what it was all about, you know. And when I spoke out he was only wanting to protect the Government, which was his responsibility and he wrote to Bernice to ring up Barry Dexter constantly, 'Why don't you shut Perkins up? You know and why don't you write him a letter? Why don't you dismiss him? Why don't you send him somewhere else?' And poor Barry Dexter had all this pressure on him from Cavanagh, as he did with other Ministers and other bureaucrats, to sort of get rid of me or shut me up or discipline me. And Barry did that now and then, you know, as much as he could but he was always apologising for it you know, 'Sorry mate, I got to do this, you know. This is my job and, you know, you've really gone overboard this time'. And I said, 'Well that's that stupid Minister, or that stupid political party, but with Cavanagh we never got ... we never hit it off because we were just living in different worlds. I don't know what world he was living in but I was in Australia and, you know, I had my responsibility to my people and to my country and he had his to his union ... to his political party, I suppose.

Charlie Perkins

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.

Passivity (released 19 July 2006)
The passive social state and passive capital are the curses of our age. Extract from a larger work in progress: Age of Abstraction: Perils and Possibilities of our Time
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Our Age (released 19 July 2006)
Abstraction is the characteristic of our age. Extract from a larger work in progress: Age of Abstraction: Perils and Possibilities of our Time.
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Jihad of Symbolism (released 19 July 2006)
The escalating extremism of terrorism and democratic militarism. Extract from a larger work in progress: Age of Abstraction: Perils and Possibilities of our Time
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What does the ALP need in a leader now? (released 18 July 2006)
Opinion column, January 18, 2006
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Citizenship, Land Rights, Economic Rights… and the importance of Micro Finance (released 18 July 2006)
Some early thinking about the need for linking up the Indigenous Stock Exchange with micro-finance initiatives
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The Future of Success: An Interview with Bob Reich (released 18 July 2006)
Bob Reich enjoyed this meeting with Indigenous Australian leaders. It was a great occasion in Cairns with Noel and Gerhardt Pearson.
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Previously unpublished written notes on the eve of Mark Latham's elevation to the leadership (released 18 July 2006)
Unpublished and unedited written notes in the lead up to the Federal caucus vote which would install Mark Latham as leader of the ALP.
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Maxine McKew interviews Peter Botsman on the Labor leadership, 2005 (released 18 July 2006)
Broadcast: 20/01/2005, Time for young blood: Botsman, Reporter: Matt Peacock, Interviewer Maxine McKew, 7.30 Report
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Pathways to the Enterprise State (released 18 July 2006)
This 31,000 word, 60 page report, published as a pdf document, was written in 2003 for a Federal Government department.
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Capacity Paradox (released 18 July 2006)
Extract: Age of Abstraction: Perils and Possibilities of our Time, work in progress
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