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Howard Library Policy Perspectives – In Conversation with Sir Anthony Seldon
In this special edition of 'Policy Perspectives', Andrew Blyth, Group Manager, John Howard Prime Ministerial Library, UNSW Canberra, sits down with Sir Anthony Seldon, historian, educator and prolific political biographer. Andrew and Sir Anthony explore several current political issues facing Westminster and their relevance to Australia: the decline in trust of public institutions, why the job of prime minister has become almost impossible (with many failures), who will replace Boris Johnson, and whether the funding of prime ministerial libraries is in the public interest. Sir Anthony concludes our podcast sharing his passion for his charity walk, 'The Western Front Way', the biggest international commemorative project in the world.
21 July 2022
The John Howard Prime Ministerial Library held 'An Evening with Sir Anthony Seldon' at the National Archives of Australia on Thursday 21 July, 2022. Sir Anthony Seldon, political biographer, educator, and historian is the trusted voice on the history of the UK Cabinet Office. Seldon addressed several current political issues facing Westminster and their relevance to Australia: why the job of prime minister has become almost impossible (with many failures), who will replace Boris Johnson (and what is next for him), and how long will the monarchy survive? By all accounts, the evening was a great success.
23-24 June 2022, National Press Club of Australia, Canberra
The Howard Government faced several crises in its eleven years in office, from the beginning of the ‘war on terror’, through the (almost simultaneous) collapse of Australia’s second airline, Ansett, to the scandal of the Australian Wheat Board’s dealings with Iraq’s leader, Saddam Hussein and the waterfront struggles of Australia’s stevedoring companies against union control.
How did the Howard Government respond to the crises it encountered; how did it ‘frame’ these crises for public understanding and support; what role did the media play in explaining particular crises and critiquing Government’s responses; how were the Government’s responses evaluated – by it and its critics - after each crisis had passed; was there a pattern from which we can learn to better inform contemporary government responses to crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic, and those that lie in wait?
These questions were the focus of the presentations and discussion at the John Howard Prime Ministerial Library’s 2022 annual conference.
Speakers included former Howard Government ministers, academics, media commentators and crisis management experts and included Mr Paul Kelly, The Honourable John Howard OM, AC, The Honourable Mal Brough, The Honourable Professor Richard Alston AO, Professor Pene Mathew, Dr Paul Barnes, Dr Scott Prasser and Mr Peter Jennings, among others.
1 June 2022
The John Howard Prime Ministerial Library and Museum of Australian Democracy held ‘In Conversation with Troy Bramston and Michelle Grattan’ on Tuesday 1 June 2022 at Old Parliament House. Troy discussed his new book, Bob Hawke: Demons and Destiny, the definitive full-life biography of Australia's 23rd prime minister; the only one that Hawke cooperated with after exiting the prime ministership. Troy’s Hawke biography is based on an exclusive series of interviews with him - the last that he gave - as well as unfiltered access to his extensive trove of personal papers. It features new interviews with more than 100 people who knew and worked with Hawke, including The Honourable John Howard OM, AC, whom Hawke faced at the 1987 Australian Federal Election. The audience enjoyed an evening of insights and excellent company.
The John Howard Prime Ministerial Library, hosted by UNSW Canberra at Old Parliament House, has released a collection of accessible, curriculum-aligned Civics and Citizenship resources for Australian students in years 9 and 10.
These resources use two key events from the Howard Government years (1996-2007) – Peacekeeping in East Timor and The National Firearms Agreement – to give student’s a historical insight into two major pieces of Australian government policy.
Director of the Howard Library, Professor David Lovell, said the resources also provide teachers with a range of activities to develop students’ civics and citizenship skills, including analysing historical sources, developing arguments, and considering different points of view.
The John Howard Prime Ministerial Library strives to improve public leadership and policy in Australia. We preserve and make accessible the papers of the Honourable John Howard OM, AC, and the papers of Howard Government ministers. We advance research in, and inform debate about public leadership and policy, while curating exhibitions that introduce Australians to leadership and policy challenges in a balanced and non-partisan way. Our work contributes to the civic education of all Australians.
This, our first biennial report, gives us the chance to reflect on the important work we have already accomplished together, and outline our exciting future plans. We commend this report to you and welcome your feedback.
19 November 2019
The fourth UNSW Canberra Howard Government Retrospective Conference focussed on 2004–2007, commencing with Indigenous Reconciliation, the Northern Territory intervention, and the election that saw the Coalition lose office and the Prime Minister his seat in parliament.
Speakers at the conference included former Prime Minister John Howard, senior Coalition and Labor figures, leading commentators and notable academics.
In addition to assessing the Howard Government’s successes and shortcomings, the conference considered the Coalition’s electoral victory in October 2004, the downfall of Kim Beazley and rise of Kevin ‘07’ Rudd, and ultimately, the Coalition’s electoral defeat in November 2007 after nearly 12 years in office.
The conference was held at the National Press Club on November 18 and 19, 2019.
8 October 2019
UNSW Canberra marked the 20th anniversary of the UNAMET and INTERFET deployments to East Timor with a one-day symposium at Russell Offices in Canberra on Tuesday 17 September.
The event explored the enduring significance of the intervention for Australia’s operational preparedness and covered a plethora of topics relating to how the Defence Industry has been able to develop over the two decades since the deployment.
Speakers at the symposium included former prime minister John Howard, General the Honorable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK AC(Mil) CVO MC (Ret’d), the East Timorese Ambassador to Australia and former refugee, Abel Guterres, former Queensland Governor and diplomat Penny Wensley and senior ADF personnel and Defence Department staff.
27 August 2019
In the wake of another series of mass shootings – all too common in the United States – Australian firearm laws are again being held up as an example of successful firearms legislation.
UNSW Canberra Professor Tom Frame, the author of the upcoming book Gun Control: What Australia got right (and wrong) and the Director of the Howard Library, said there is a lot that America can learn from the Australian experience despite a number of key differences.
22 August 2019
Staff at UNSW Canberra’s Howard Library are saddened by the passing of one of Australia’s much-loved and globally recognised parliamentarians, the Honourable Tim Fischer, AC, Australia’s 11th Deputy Prime Minister.
Tim Fischer was the Country Party member for Sturt in the New South Wales Legislative Assembly from February 1971 until August 1980. He represented the electorate of Murray from September 1980 until he resigned in October 1984 to contest the 1984 Federal Election on behalf of the National Party.
12 June 2019
Seventeen UNSW Canberra alumni were recognised for their contribution to Australian society in the 2019 Queen’s Birthday Honours, including UNSW Canberra Professor Tom Frame.
Professor Frame, Director of UNSW Canberra’s Public Leadership Research Group received the honour of a Member of the Order of Australia in the General Division for significant service to higher education, to the Anglican Church of Australia, and to the community.
4 December 2018
The Howard Library has officially opened at Old Parliament House.
Former Prime Minister John Howard and other members of the Howard family were joined by Prime Minister Scott Morrison at the opening of the prime ministerial library.
Director of the Howard Library, Professor Tom Frame, says the Library – a combination of exhibitions and archives – is the first of its kind for Australia, housing a collection of official papers, personal papers and memorabilia from John Howard’s time as Prime Minister (March 1996-December 2007).
17 October 2018
We’ve all heard of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – a mental condition that can develop after a person is exposed to a traumatic event. Often associated with the experiences of war, it can manifest as flashbacks, anxiety and intense feelings of distress.
A lesser known, but comparable experience that can impact returning service people is moral injury.
UNSW Canberra leads the Australian conversation and research effort on moral injury – an experience that can occur when an individual’s value system is disrupted by morally challenging experiences.
19 January 2018
Those hoping to take a sneak peek of the Howard Library at Old Parliament House are in luck - it is opening its doors for a preview this month.
While the UNSW Canberra initiative is not yet officially open to the public, interim galleries will be on display on select days throughout the school holidays.
On show are a collection of historical artefacts, political memorabilia and official gifts from John Howard's time as Prime Minister of Australia between 1996-2007.
13 December 2017
“If you thought 50 years ago that a father and a daughter would have PhDs from something called UNSW Canberra it would have been a foreign language.”
That’s according to Professor Tom Frame, whose 28-year-old daughter, Kelly, celebrates her PhD graduation from UNSW Canberra on Wednesday.
It will be 25 years, nearly to the day, that Kelly’s father Tom completed the first history PhD at the university campus.
17 August 2017
The inner workings of the Howard Coalition Government will be revealed to the public through the creation of a new Library at Old Parliament House, Canberra.
The Howard Library, will be established by UNSW Canberra later this year and will house a collection of non-official documents, personal papers and memorabilia from John Howard’s time as Prime Minister of Australia between 1996-2007.
The Library’s Director, Professor Tom Frame says the Howard Library will promote and advance the principles of Public Leadership through research and education.