Saturday, August 31, 2013

Post-Post Post

The telegraph was once an important means of communication in a land so vast. Nowadays it's shorthand for an execrable tabloid that wears its bias on its sleeve. But we don't need that when we've got the World Wide Web.

The first mail coach delivery was in 1806 and the postmaster general of the colony was ex-convict Isaac Nichols.
(Gee, I hope I got that right)

The first telephone exchange. Someone's just phoning it in.


Radios appear

Crowded  round the box

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Post post

List of Australian junior ministers with the telecommunications portfolio

Minister for Telecommunications and Aviation Support

Gary Punch
Ros Kelly

Minister for Communications

David Beddall

Minister for Regional Communications

Sharon Bird

Monday, August 26, 2013



John Forrest
James Drake
Philip Fysh
Hugh Mahon
Sydney Smith
Austin Chapman
Samuel Mauger
Josiah Thomas (twice)
John Quick
Charles Frazer
Agar Wynn
William Spence
William Webster
George Wise
Alexander Poynton
William Gibson
Joseph Lyons
Albert Green
James Fenton
Archdale Parkhill
Alexander McLachlan
Archie Cameron
Eric Harrison
Harold Thorby
George McLeay
Thomas Collins
Bill Ashley
Don Cameron
Larry Anthony
Charles Davidson
Alan Hulme
Lance Barnard
Lionel Bowen
Reg Bishop
Peter Nixon

Minister for Post and Telecommunications

Victor Garland
Eric Robinson
Tony Staley

Minister for Communications

Ian Sinclair
Neil Brown
Michael Duffy

Minister for Transport and Communications

Gareth Evans
Ralph Willis
Kim Beazley
John Kerin
Graham Richardson
Bob Collins

Minister for Communications

Michael Lee

Minister for Communications and the Arts

Richard Alston

Minister for Communications, the Information Economy and the Arts


Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts

Daryl Williams
Helen Coonan

Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy

Stephen Conroy
Anthony Albanese

Monday, August 12, 2013

Defence post

"Overgoverned?! We've even got a Minister for Air."

Such jest finds little concordance with the real purpose of this portfolio; our defence force taking to the skies. Beginning at the outbreak of the Second World War,  a Minister for Air and a Minister for the Army.

Minister for the Navy had first been a designation in 1915, suggesting the kind of involvement a nation like ours could make in those circumstances. When the position bobbed up again, along with the introduction of the other two, there had been eighteen years weighed anchor.

Arthur Drakeford ruled the Air, in control for eight years during the turbulent WWII period. Meanwhile Dudley Erwin stayed airborne for only a few months. He is bookended in that same year, 1969, by Gordon Freeth and Tom Drake-Brockman.

Josiah Francis was in charge of the Army for six years, John Cramer managed seven.

For a colourful character still on the political landscape, guess which other (this time Country Party) member followed Phillip Lynch and Andrew Peacock into the barracks? None other than Bob Katter.

The navy tradition dates back to the First World War, Jens Jensen at the wheel. This first Navy portfolio was then managed by Joseph Cook and William Laird Smith.

The assigning of the armed forces to different arms of executive drew to a halt with Lance (corporal) Barnard in 1973.


As always with the military, there are a number of subsidiary ministries and support services. Defence personnel have their own minister and it wasn't some cadet misspelling the signs for Department of Defence Materiel. Turns out that material with an e is something different but it doesn't appear to be. A quaint lexical tic perhaps.

And, while welfare wasn't factored in federation, there is now a well established Department of Veterans' Affairs.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

In our Defence

Our chief protectors, the Ministers for Defence

James Dickson
John Forrest
James Drake
Austin Chapman
Anderson Dawson
James McCay
Thomas Playford
Thomas Ewing
George Pearce (thrice)
Joseph Cook
Edward Millen
Walter Massy-Greene
Eric Bowden
Neville Howse
William Glasgow
Albert Green
John Daly
Ben Chifley
Archdale Parkhill
Joseph Lyons
Harold Thorby
Geoffrey Street
Robert Menzies
John Curtin
Jack Beasley
Frank Forde
John Dedman
Eric Harrison
Philip McBride
Athol Townley
Paul Hasluck
Shane Paltridge
Allen Fairhall
Malcolm Fraser
John Gorton
David Fairbairn
Lance Barnard
Bill Morrison
Jim Killen
Ian Sinclair
Gordon Scholes
Kim Beazley
Robert Ray
Ian McLachlan
John Moore
Peter Reith
Robert Hill
Brendan Nelson
Joel Fitzgibbon
John Faulkner
Stephen Smith