February 21, 2019 — Julie Bishop announces her retirement from Parliament

It was only a matter of time. Once Julie Bishop moved to the back bench in 2018, the clock was ticking on how long she’d stay in Parliament. On February 21, 2019, Bishop ended the speculation by announcing that she would not be re-contesting her seat in the next election (due to be held later in the year). After 21 years, the possessor of the most impressive death glare in Australian politics had reached the end of the road in Parliament.

Prime Minister (and graceless oaf) Scott Morrison made a speech thanking her for her service without mentioning any specifics whatsoever, but managing to get in a sexist remark about her shoes.

August 24, 2018 — Scott Morrison becomes Prime Minister of Australia

Malcolm Turnbull had been looking shaky as Prime Minister for some time when Peter Dutton decided to challenge him for the job. In a spill vote on August 21, 2018, Turnbull defeated Dutton by a comfortable 13 votes, but the damage was done. Turnbull announced that he would step down as leader (and member for Wentworth) if the party called for another spill. They did, he did, and a three-cornered contest between Julie Bishop, a resurgent Peter Dutton and Treasurer Scott Morrison took place. Bishop, despite being the single most popular member of the party with the public by a large margin, was defeated in the first round of voting, and Dutton in the second. Scott Morrison became the new Prime Minister.

Morrison was quick to appoint a new Cabinet – and a new Deputy. Bishop quit the ministry, and moved to the back benches. After 11 long years, she was no longer the deputy leader of the Liberal Party.

September 14, 2015 — Tony Abbott loses the Prime Ministership to Malcolm Turnbull

The stated reason for the knifing of Tony Abbott was that he had lost “30 Newspolls in a row” – which was true, but also somewhat beside the point. But Malcolm Turnbull wasn’t going to be denied. The man who would be Prime Minister had waited a long, long time for the top job, and clearly believed that revenge was a dish best served at zero Kelvin.

So it was that Malcolm Turnbull became the 29th Prime Minister of Australia, while Abbott took over his role as backbencher and miserable ghost in Parliament.

Julie Bishop’s tenure as Deputy Leader continued under the new leader.

December 1, 2009 — Tony Abbott elected leader of the Liberal Party

Tony Abbott wasn’t supposed to be in the running. While it was obvious that Malcolm Turnbull wasn’t going to last as leader of the Liberal Party, his competitor for the role was Joe Hockey. Abbott only threw his hat into the ring at all because the conservative wing of the party didn’t like either Hockey or Turnbull.

But on the first round of voting, he won more votes than either of the other two. Hockey was eliminated, and in the second round of voting, Abbott narrowly defeated Turnbull. He would go on to become Prime Minister in 2013, and in due course, be knifed by his own party and replaced with a new leader, some guy named Malcolm Turnbull.

Julie Bishop’s tenure as Deputy Leader continued under the new leader.

September 15, 2008 — Malcolm Turnbull displaces Brendan Nelson as Liberal Party leader

Brendan Nelson failed terribly as the Leader of the Opposition, and even moreso as the Leader of the Liberal Party. He was unpopular with both the public at large and within his own party, and as the errors and gaffes piled up, it became clear that his days were numbered.

The two front runners to replace him were Malcolm Turnbull and Peter Costello. Costello had previously been the Deputy Leader of the party under John Howard, as well as Treasurer, and was the favourite to win in most opinion polls and editorial pages. However, he declined to contest (and retired entirely from Parliament the following year), leaving Malcolm Turnbull to win the leadership in a canter.

Julie Bishop’s tenure as Deputy Leader continued under the new leader.

November 29, 2007 — Brendan Nelson and Julie Bishop become the Leader and Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party

In the wake of the crushing defeat of the Liberal Party in the 2007 Australian federal election, the incumbent leader and deputy both stepped down from their roles. (Indeed, the leader, the now-former Prime Minister John Howard, had no option but to step down, having lost his seat in the election.) The thankless task of rebuilding the party (and its coalition partner, the National Party), went to relative unknowns Brendan Nelson and Julie Bishop.

Nelson did not prove equal to the task, lasting only a little more than ten months in the role and achieving some of the lowest approval numbers ever seen in Australian politics. Bishop, on the other hand, thrived in the role, and would remain deputy leader as leaders came and went until 2019.

October 3, 1998 — Julie Bishop first enters the House of Representatives

After a somewhat difficult election – the previous incumbent had left the Liberal Party to run as an independent, but he remained a friend of the sitting Liberal Prime Minister, who didn’t want to run anyone against him – Julie Bishop was elected to the lower house of the Australian federal Parliament as Member for the seat of Curtin, in West Australia. Bishop had come from a background in law, and was 42 years old at the time of her election.

She had been pre-selected by far-seeing members of the party who believed she had what it took to be a Cabinet Minister, and she quickly proved them right, ascending to the Ministry (as Minister for Ageing) in 2003, and remaining a Minister (or Shadow-Minister when in Opposition) until she chose to step down in 2019.

December 9, 1972 — The Whitlam government is elected in Australia

It was time.

After 23 years in the wilderness, the Australian Labor Party was once again elected by the Australian people. Led by Gough Whitlam, they had only narrowly lost the previous election and this time thumped home with a comfortable 9 seat majority. Whitlam wasted little time – he and deputy Lance Barnard were sworn in by the Governor-General the following day, and set about enacting their agenda.

In the parlance of today, they moved fast and broke things – one of those things, unfortunately, their own government. But in the meantime, they ended Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War, introduced socialised health care and ended the White Australia Policy, among other reforms. A later Australian Prime Minister, Paul Keating, characterised the Whitlam government as waking Australia from its ‘Menzian torpor’, and it’s hard to argue with him.

Gough Whitlam 1972 policy speech

As mentioned in:

Long Run — Redgum

August 5, 1964 — The first Anti-Vietnam War protest in Australia

It started off small – although by 1964 standards, 2000 people gathered outside the American Consulate in Prahran, Victoria probably seemed like a lot more. There’d been anti-war and anti-nuclear protests before now, but this was the first one that was specifically about the Vietnam War. Mounted in response to U.S. aerial attacks on North Vietnam in the wake of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, it called less for an end to the war than for a re-convening of the Geneva Conference.

In the years that followed, the Vietnam War would become less and less popular with the Australian public. The numbers at protests would grow, especially after the introduction of conscription in November of that year. And more than eight years later, a newly elected government would announce the withdrawal of the last Australian troops in Vietnam.

As mentioned in:

Long Run — Redgum

February 19, 1942 — Japanese planes attack Darwin

The Japanese air raid on Darwin was mounted by 242 Japanese planes launched from four aircraft carriers. It was intended to soften up the air force and navy bases there in preparation for the Japanese invasion of Timor the following day. Between 9:58 and 10:40AM that day, the planes sank three warships and five merchant ships, while damaging ten more. Twenty-one dock workers were killed in the raids.

This would be the first of a total of 97 air raids against targets either in Australian waters or on the Australian mainland. Most of these were on various sites across the northern coast of Australia between Port Hedland, Western Australia and Townsville, Queensland, with the great majority of them being on military or civilian targets in Darwin. The last air raid took place on November 12, 1943, striking Parap, Adelaide River and Batchelor Airfield (all in the Northern Territory). By that time, the tide of war had turned, and Japan could no longer strike so close to Australia, although the end of the war was still nearly two years away.

Darwin 42

As mentioned in:

Tojo — Hoodoo Gurus