Author(s): Malcolm/Simons, Margaret Fraser
In this part memoir and part authorised biography, Malcolm Fraser talks about his time in public life. 'The great task of statesmanship is to apply past lessons to new situations, to draw correct analogies to understand and act upon present forces, to recognise the need for change.'andmdash;Malcolm Fraser Malcolm Fraser is one of the most interesting and possibly most misunderstood of Australia's Prime Ministers. In this part memoir and part authorised biography, Fraser at the age of 79 years talks about his time in public life. From the Vietnam War to the Dismissal and his years as Prime Minister, through to his concern in recent times for breaches in the Rule of Law and harsh treatment of refugees, Fraser emerges as an enduring liberal, constantly reinterpreting core values to meet the needs of changing times. Written in collaboration with journalist Margaret Simons, Malcolm Fraser's political memoirs trace the story of a shy boy who was raised to be seen and not heard, yet grew to become one of the most persistent, insistent and controversial political voices of our times. The book offers insight into Malcolm Fraser's substantial achievements. He was the first Australian politician to describe Australia's future as multicultural, and his federal government was the first to pass Aboriginal Land Rights and Freedom of Information legislation, also establishing the Human Rights Commission. After his parliamentary career, Fraser continued to be an important player in public life, playing a key role in persuading the USA Congress to impose sanctions on South Africa as part of the battle against apartheid. He was also the founding chair of CARE Australia, one of our largest aid agencies.
Malcolm Fraser was born in May 1930 and entered federal parliament in 1955 after graduating from Oxford University. He served first as Minister for Army and later as Minister for Defence, and Education and Science. He became Prime Minister on 11 November 1975 following the dismissal of the Whitlam Labor Government. He resigned from parliament following the March 1983 election defeat after nearly 28 years as the Member for Wannon. From 1989, Fraser played a key role in bringing an end to apartheid in South Africa as co-chairman of the Commonwealth appointed Committee of Eminent Persons. He was founding Chairman of CARE Australia from 1987 to December 2001, and also served as President of CARE International. He remained at the forefront of political and social debate. Margaret Simons is a freelance journalist and writer, and also a senior lecturer at Swinburne University of Technology. She has written numerous books and essays, including The Meeting of the Waters, about the Hindmarsh Island Bridge Affair, and The Content Makers: Understanding the Australian Media. She lives in Melbourne with her husband and two children.