23 March 2015

Death of Malcom Fraser

Below is the text of a media release I put out on Friday 20 March on behalf of the Campaign for for an Iraw War Inquiry/Australians for War Powers Reform following the news of the death of former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser.

Death of Rt. Hon. Malcolm Fraser AC CH

On this 12th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, Campaign for an Iraq War Inquiry/Australians for War Powers Reform expresses its deep sorrow at the news of the passing of Australia’s 22nd Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Malcolm Fraser AC CH.

Mr Fraser was a foundation member of our movement, having attended in early 2012 a meeting in Melbourne which convened to consider how we might best campaign for the establishment of an independent inquiry into the decision-making process that led to Australia’s participation in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and the relocation of the so-called “war powers” from the Executive to the Parliament.

From that time forward he was effectively the movement’s Patron. Later in 2012, in Parliament House, Canberra, he launched our publication “Why Did We Go To War In Iraq?: A call for an Australian Inquiry”. He was a strong supporter of our movement and a ready source of guidance and wise counsel.

“His support for this cause was of a piece with his staunch opposition to apartheid as Prime Minister, his humane approach to Indo-Chinese asylum seekers during his time in office, his calls for a more humane approach to asylum seekers in the contemporary era and his respect for international institutions and international law”, said Paul Barratt, President of CIWI/AWPR.

At this time of faltering foreign policy and a too-ready willingness to commit the Australian Defence Force to overseas conflicts his wisdom and ideas will be missed more than ever. His stature will undoubtedly grow in coming decades.

Many of our members and longstanding supporters have known Mr Fraser both professionally and personally over a long period of time. We shall miss him both as a friend and as a colleague, and extend our condolences to Mrs Fraser and the family.

Paul Barratt
20 March 2015

10 March 2015

Honorary Appointment

I am very happy to be able to advise that offer and acceptance formalities have now been completed for me to take up an honorary appointment as an Adjunct Professor in the School of Humanities at the University of New England.

I am pleased to be strengthening in this way a family connection with this fine institution which goes way back beyond my doing a Science degree here in the early 1960s, to a day in early 1938 when my father became the first student to enrol at the fledgling New England University College (of the University of Sydney). With the exception of the war years and sabbaticals, he spent his entire working life here, retiring as the third Professor of Psychology in 1978, forty years after his first undergraduate year here.