Joshua Black

Joshua Black is a doctoral candidate with the National Centre for Biography, ANU. His Honours thesis (2018), entitled ‘For What Purpose?: The political memoirs and diaries of the Rudd–Gillard Labor Cabinet’, investigated the relatively unexplored field of political memoirs and their position in Australian political historiography. His doctorate is entitled ‘The Political Memoir Phenomenon: Federal political life writing, 1994–2020’. He has also worked in the field of Higher Education equity and support.

Joshua Black reviews 'Cathy Goes to Canberra: Doing politics differently' by Cathy McGowan

January–February 2021, no. 428 16 December 2020
Joshua Black reviews 'Cathy Goes to Canberra: Doing politics differently' by Cathy McGowan
‘Orange balloons. Orange streamers. Orange shirts.’ Cathy McGowan’s memoir is saturated and literally wrapped in the colour. Cathy Goes to Canberra begins with an account of the election of her independent successor as Member for Indi, Dr Helen Haines, in May 2019 – ‘with orange everywhere’. For McGowan, this hue was a symbolic way of differentiating herself and her model of politics ... (read more)

'After the waves: A tribute to a pioneering Labor feminist' by Joshua Black

November 2020, no. 426 22 October 2020
Susan Ryan was a formidable storyteller. Her stories communicated her values and her world view, her commitment to the pursuit of a more egalitarian society. Hers was a powerful form of communication, capable of questioning and challenging the inadequacies of the masculinist, class-exclusive ‘fair go’ of postwar Australian society. Two weeks before her death on September 27, I spoke to Ryan v ... (read more)

Josh Black reviews 'Ten Doors Down: The story of an extraordinary adoption reunion' by Robert Tickner

April 2020, no. 420 20 March 2020
Josh Black reviews 'Ten Doors Down: The story of an extraordinary adoption reunion' by Robert Tickner
Twenty years ago, Robert Tickner tried his hand at the nuanced art of political memoir. Taking a Stand (2001) was, he said, ‘an insider’s account of momentous initiatives’ in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs portfolio in the 1990s. A portrait of the politician as a young man, son, father, and husband was not in the offing. Cabinet diarist Neal Blewett, a man not renowned for ... (read more)