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Lyndon Megarrity

Lyndon Megarrity

Lyndon Megarrity is a Queensland historian and tertiary teacher. He is the author of Northern Dreams: The Politics of Northern Development in Australia (2018).

Lyndon Megarrity reviews 'Back from the Brink, 1997–2001: The Howard Government Volume II' edited by Tom Frame

January-February 2019, no. 408 18 December 2018
Back from the Brink is the second volume of a projected four-volume series that investigates the performance of the four Howard governments (1996–2007). The first dealt with the Liberal– National Party coalition’s election in 1996 and their first year in power. The work under review focuses on the period from ‘January 1997 when the Workplace Relations Act 1996 came into operation until the ... (read more)

Lyndon Megarrity reviews 'We’ll Show the World: Expo 88' by Jackie Ryan

September 2018, no. 404 24 August 2018
Born in 1825, Brisbane is an elderly lady who has been to a surprising number of ‘coming of age’ balls. Numerous historians, officials, speechmakers, and journalists for several decades have implied that Brisbane (as of 1982, 1988, or whenever) is now not only the belle of the ball, but she has thrown out all reminders of her daggy, embarrassing, and sinister past and is now a sophisticated ci ... (read more)

Lyndon Megarrity reviews 'The Boy from Baradine' by Craig Emerson

April 2018, no. 400 26 March 2018
The Boy from Baradine is one of the latest Australian political memoirs to hit the shelves. Craig Emerson, a prominent minister in the Rudd and Gillard governments between 2007 and 2013, has some interesting stories to tell about life as a political adviser, a pragmatic supporter of the environment, and an ambitious Labor politician. Emerson comes across as genuine and down to earth. He appears no ... (read more)

Lyndon Megarrity reviews 'The Show: Another side of Santamaria’s movement' by Mark Aarons and John Grenville

September 2017, no. 394 29 August 2017
The Movement was a secret organisation which radically reduced the power of the Communist Party of Australia (CPA) within the union movement during the 1940s and 1950s. Initiated by B.A. Santamaria, the Movement was very active in several Australian states and worked with the general knowledge and approval of key Catholic Church bishops. The Movement (or the Show) ultimately aimed to steer the Aus ... (read more)

Lyndon Megarrity reviews 'Playing the Game: Life and politics in Papua New Guinea' by Julius Chan

May 2016, no. 381 27 April 2016
Papua New Guinea is so close to Australia, and yet so far away. We rarely hear about our near neighbour, unless there is a crisis reported in the media. Julius Chan's highly readable memoir should encourage more Australians to develop more curiosity about PNG, its complex history and multiple cultures. Twice prime minister of Papua New Guinea (1980–82, 1994–97) and now governor of the provinc ... (read more)

Lyndon Megarrity reviews 'All Fall Down' by Matthew Condon

November 2015, no. 376 29 October 2015
All Fall Down, set in 1980s Queensland, chronicles the direct and indirect links between officials and local criminals exposed by the Fitzgerald Inquiry (1987–89). It is the last volume in a trilogy that largely focuses on police corruption between the 1940s and 1980s, but there is also some discussion of the cronyism, misuse of powers, and corruption within the Country Party (later National Par ... (read more)

Lyndon Megarrity reviews 'Through the Wall' by Anna Bligh

June-July 2015, no. 372 29 May 2015
After a substantial career as a minister in the Beattie government, Anna Bligh served as Queensland Labor premier from 2007 to 2012. She was the first female premier in Australia to lead her party to victory at a state election. These experiences have given her many interesting tales to tell about winning elections, retaining community and party support, as well as pushing through reforms. Bligh ... (read more)

Lyndon Megarrity reviews 'Kevin Rudd: Twice Prime Minister' by Patrick Weller

January-February 2015, no. 368 01 January 2015
In modern Australia, politics and public policy appear to reflect a narrow range of managerial, political, and economic opinions. Even the much publicised ‘listening tours’ conducted by politicians seem designed to show that they are sensitive to community concerns, but not so sensitive as to want to change policy direction. What makes current discussion of political issues so dispiriting is t ... (read more)

Lyndon Megarrity reviews 'Don Dunstan, Intimacy & Liberty: A political biography' by Dino Hodge

August 2014, no. 363 01 August 2014
When I was commissioned to write this review, I assumed that this book would be a conventional political biography. I looked forward to reading about Dunstan’s career as premier of South Australia (1967–68 and 1970–79), as his record of achievements showed that our states and territories have the potential to be powerful players in social and cultural reform. However, the focus of Dino Hodge ... (read more)

Lyndon Megarrity reviews 'The Gillard Governments: Australian Commonwealth administration' edited by Chris Aulich

May 2014, no. 361 30 April 2014
The prime ministership of Julia Gillard attracted an immense amount of media attention, not least because of the novelty of a female leader aspiring to embody the values and dreams of the Australian people. As opposition to her policies and style grew, Gillard as the government figurehead was at times subjected to extremist protests that used her gender as a weapon. Gillard’s prime ministership ... (read more)
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