AQ Volume 94, Issue 3

AQ 94.3 - Jul-Sept 2023 Edition

The more things change, the more things stay the same – particularly for Australia’s Indigenous communities who have seen waves of enthusiasm for Indigenous rights ebb and flow on the political tides from which they have been largely excluded.

23 years ago, Australia stood at the cross-roads of the Republic referendum and within that discussion, Indigenous recognition was also front of mind. Except that in 1999 the conversation was of ‘Treaty’ – makarrata – and an ambition reckoning with our past.

The Republic referendum was ultimately unsuccessful, burying alongside it the political appetite for constitutional change. In this edition we republish ‘Makarrata Dreaming’, which lays out how progressive the Treaty agenda had been. The article puts into perspective just how modest and humble the current request for a Voice to Parliament truly is.

When it comes to the shifting sands of politics, we welcome back Michelle Grattan and Mark Evans (alongside political veteran, Tim Colebatch) for a very interesting analysis of the ‘teal’ and community independent phenomenon. With several state elections having happened since independents rocked the 2022 federal contest, it is an ideal time to ask whether community populism will be a lasting feature, or simply a flash in the pan.

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New Populisms and Party Crashers – Are the Teals Breaking the Mould of Australian Politics?

For decades the stranglehold that Labor and the Coalition have had on federal politics has been eroding. The 2022 Federal election marked a watershed moment as six women, dubbed ‘teal’ candidates, won victories in previously blue-ribbon Liberal seats. But was this result a flash in the pan? Or are the teals breaking the mould of Australian politics? Recent state elections provide some context on the movement and whether we are seeing a new normal in Australian politics.

Tim Colebatch, Mark Evans and Michelle Grattan 

Child Influencers: How children have become entangled with social media commerce

What happens when a 1 year old becomes famous on the internet? What are the rules and guidelines that should govern how parents manage their children’s influencer ‘careers’? Child influencers are big money, and there has been a huge proliferation of families monetising their lives, and those of their children, for content. In a fascinating dive piece, we look at what the influencer communities have done, and what governments could do, so protect those at the heart of this growing phenomenon.

Crystal Abidin

The Energy Ties That Bind: Creating a Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain

Less than 10 years after Japan dropped bombs on Australian soil, PM Robert Menzies opened the Australian Embassy in Japan. Shortly thereafter, Australia signed the first of many agreements that would make Japan one of our country’s strongest trading partners – particularly in energy. With geopolitical unrest in the region and a global energy transition underway, Japan is pouring billions into energy projects in Australia. But is the relationship at risk, and what will it mean if we can’t honour the energy ties that bind?

Daisuke Akimoto

From the Archive: Makarrata Dreaming

The 1999 Republic Referendum would have rewritten our constitution – and the potential for Indigenous recognition was the front of mind. Then the discussion was of treaty; now it is the Voice the Parliament. We step back to the eve of the millennium and ask: what has changed in 20 years, and why are we having the same discussion now as then? This year, Australia has the opportunity to make a change for the better. Or are we going to squander the chance like we have so many times before?

Peter Botsman

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