And That Would Have Made 4!

20 February 2010

I had to turn down an invitation yesterday to meet Kevin Rudd (for overseas readers – he’s our Prime Minister).  I was working so couldn’t go but David went along.

I would have liked to have added him to the list of Australian Prime Ministers I’ve met – Bob Hawke, Malcolm Fraser and Gough Whitlam.  Not bad considering I’ve lived here for 7 years, plus 4 years in the 1970’s.

Funnily enough, I haven’t met John Howard though he was my own MP until 2 years ago.

I mentioned to a woman I work with that I’d met a number of Aussie PM’s – I mentioned Bob Hawke but she’d never heard of him.  She’s in her late 20’s, excellent job, university educated.  I wasn’t sure exactly when he was PM but I said I thought it was some time in the early 80’s. (I didn’t live in Australia then)   Her reply: “Well, that was a bit before my time”.

Chamberlain was a bit before my time, as were Gladstone and Pitt The Younger but I’ve HEARD of them.  And Bob Hawke is still alive.  Coincidentally, the day after our conversation, his picture was on the front page of the Sydney Morning Herald (“ex Prime Minister, Bob Hawke”) attending some event. 

And if we’re talking Aussie PM’s, I could list at least another 5 off the top of my head – Keating, Chifley, Holt, Curtin and could anyone really not have heard of Menzies?  I didn’t dare ask her.  He was the PM when I was a child in England and had died long before I came to Australia for the first time. 

What happened to “Education, education, education”?



  1. DD was doing the equivalent of the HSC at TAFE in 2007. Her TEACHER (sorry for shouting) said (in response to a question asked by a student) that Paul Keating had been Treasurer but she didn’t think he had been PM at any point! As you said, “Education, education, eduction”.

  2. It’s frustrating isn’t it? I talk to teachers here (US) who are told they teach “HARD” classes because they require actual thinking and homework–not just what can be done during the commercial break on the latest reality television craze.

  3. I agree with Lynne, it is unlikely that many of the younger primary teachers in NSW would be able to name five ministers and shadow ministers in either Federal or State.

    You should see the state and spelling of the correspondence they send to me demanding I do things for them immediately. It’s a disgrace.

  4. I just think ths is terribly sad – I didn’t like school at all, but have to acknowledge that some teacher at some time has taught me literature, history, languages, politics, and so on. But I’ve also (intake of breath) READ BOOKS. So much of what I know has been acquired through this archaic means.

    I’m older than Sally but even I wasn’t around when Ned Kelly was about, or Hitler, for that matter. However, I am aware of their existence and do know that they aren’t heavy metal bands.

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