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Australian Parliament’s Centenary Celebrated; Howard Praises Curtin & Menzies; Beazley Calls For Republic

The celebration of the centenary of Australia’s national Parliament has been held in Melbourne.


The 7500 guests at the Exhibition Building heard speeches from the President of the Senate, Margaret Reynolds, who claimed the arrival of women in Parliament as the greatest change in Australia’s political climate over the past 100 years. [Read more…]

Sir William Deane’s Speech On the Centenary of the Australian Parliament

The Governor-General, Sir William Deane, presided at the opening of the Commemorative Meeting of the Commonwealth Parliament.

DeaneThe joint sitting of the Parliament took place in Melbourne’s Exhibition Building.

The Centenary of Federation joint sitting took place one hundred years to the day since the First Commonwealth Parliament met in 1901.

The First Parliament met in Melbourne’s Parliament House until it moved to Canberra in 1927.

During that time – 1901-1927 – the Victorian Parliament met in the Exhibition Building.
[Read more…]

Cathy Freeman Lights Flame At Olympic Games Opening Ceremony

In what will be seen as a bold political and social statement, the Aboriginal athlete, Cathy Freeman, has tonight lit the flame to open the Games of the 27th Olympiad in Sydney, Australia.

Cathy Freeman holds the Olympic torch aloftWatched by the Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, whose government has legislated to restrict native title claims, which disputes the existence of a “stolen generation” of Aboriginal children, and which also refuses to make a national apology, Freeman was the last of a succession of Australian female athletes to carry the flame into the Homebush Stadium.

The Olympic flame was carried into the stadium by Herb Elliot and passed to Betty Cuthbert, Raelene Boyle, Dawn Fraser, Shirley Strickland, Shane Gould, Debbie Flintoff-King and then Freeman, in celebration of 100 years of women’s participation in the Games.

Earlier, a lone horseman charged onto the stadium, followed by 120 men and women on horseback. They welcomed the crowd in classic Australian idiom: “G’day”. [Read more…]

Governor-General’s Term Extended by Six Months

Vice-Regal news continues today with the announcement by the Prime Minister that the Governor-General, Sir William Deane, is to have his term extended by six months.

Deane was due to complete his term on December 31st, but will now leave on June 30 next year, in order to allow him to participate in and oversee the centenary of Federation celebrations.

Given the announcement an hour earlier that the Victorian Government has not extended the term of Sir James Gobbo as Victorian Governor, replacing him with the former runner John Landy, political comparisons between the two decisions are bound to be made.