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Labor’s Legacy Shines Through

By Callen Sorensen-Karklis

The 21st century Labor Party has a lot to offer Australians, despite being written off in recent times as a party of disunity during its 2007 – 2013 period of government. Labor still has a profound legacy that has helped positively steer Australia’s place in the world in the Asian century. Although it might not seem it yet now to many but in 20 – 30 years’ time Rudd and Gillard’s place in the history books will be among the names of Curtin, Chifley, Whitlam, Hawke and Keating.

Rudd’s moving apology to the stolen generations of Indigenous Australians was one of the bravest yet most noble acts of human compassion (compare the compassion shown by the current government). And how can anybody forget Gillard’s memorable speech about sexism and misogyny when defining her place as a strong woman leader in politics against the likes of Tony Abbott?

Labor’s economic management through the global financial crisis (GFC) was a sense of fiscal responsibility saving Australia from the brink of economic catastrophe, having been one of the few OECD nations to pull through mostly unscathed by the crisis and the only one not to enter into a recession. Labor’s plan to initiate the nation building NBN, NDIS, education revolution, improving LGBTIQ rights, strengthening of ties with Australia’s Asian neighbours, paid parental leave scheme, heightened funding into the old age pension, health, science, and renewables sectors were all smart political moves which aimed at looking at Australia’s place in the world not only in the next decade but the next 100 years.

Labor’s moves to abolish the draconian work choices legislation (that undermined our nation’s identity as being the place of the fair go) showed to our workers that we value helping mates pull through a tough day’s work no matter how much is in your pay or who your peers or bosses are. Labor’s moves to share the profits of the mining boom was in itself a move to strengthen our nation’s public works and provide for our citizens acting on an area that was ignored for so long. The move to place a price on carbon no matter how we all felt about it was an act that showed that we care about preserving the earth for our future generations. Labor proved that Australians are not a greedy people but a humble people who think about the end game whilst looking out for one another.

When historians look upon the works of the Rudd/Gillard Labor era, despite its off and on leadership spills and some slip ups here and there, it will be acknowledged Labor’s success was more profound than its failures. It should also be acknowledged that under the prime ministership of Julia Gillard, not only did Australia receive AAA ratings from the three major agencies, but for the first time in 40 years the unemployment rate, inflation rate, and interest rates were all below 5%. Labor’s legacy will shine through stronger than the current Abbott/Turnbull era of negligence, whilst the Hawke/Keating eras were defined by economic reforms the Rudd/Gillard era will be defined by the fiscal economics, environmental preservation, and friendly diplomatic relations with Asia, building upon our success in the process and laying the foundations of a modern Australia.

CallenAbout the author: Callen is a proud member of the ALP and an executive member of the QLD Fabians Society, and his local Crime Stoppers branch, he has strong connections to North Stradbroke Island as a Quandamooka Noonucle Indigenous person. Callen has worked for various unions, distributing, sales companies and market research briefly and has worked in retail for over 6 years. Callen is currently a university student.



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  1. susan

    Couldn’t read this author’s article after the rubbish he put forward yesterday.

  2. Vixstar

    Julia was a beacon in the fog , watching her rise to the top with NDIS, CLIMATE ACTION,GONSKI if only she had been given the chance instead of being crushed by ruperts cronies boy do we miss her now. Bill is our shining light now and I hope he is given a better chance than what they did to Julia.

  3. etnorb

    Well said Callen! What ALL these rusted-on tea party, right wing, flat earth Liberals seem to forget is that Labor–under these two, & as “divisive” as that might have been–this country fared better than every other Western economy whilst the GFC was going on. The number of very “progressive” changes to our society, the country as a whole & especially for the Indigenous peoples that they were able to achieve, simply makes any “efforts” that this incumbent, lying, inept, anti “everything” mob has tried to foist onto Australia! And yet this lying Liberal mob keep “insisting” that their “way” is the only “true & right” way, & the Labor party is “responsible” for every “wrong” that has happened in Australia–for the years that the Libs have been in government! What utter crap!!

  4. guest

    When the Coalition point to Labor’s chaos, they are referring to the change-over of leadership.

    Now that the Coalition (“We are not Labor”) have dumped the worst Oz PM ever, the Coalition does not have a leg to stand on with regard to dumping leaders, even though everyone applauds the dumping (except for a few rusted-on Abbott supporters who still dare to hope for a second coming of their hero.

    So when we see the achievements of this Coalition Government, we see a discordant series of policies which have greatly increased the Great Big Debt and threatened the environment, failed in the need to tackle climate change in a more effective way and to give more direction in the creation of real jobs such as renewable energy and a socially responsible approach to reducing the gap between haves and have-nots.

    The Coalition in Government after July 2 does not promise a bright future for Oz in the face of global “headwinds” with a policies of small government and free markets where international cartels rule and exploit the world.

  5. corvus boreus

    My personal favorite Julia Gillard moment was not the surgical misogyny excoriation.
    It was this little gem of brutal honesty and uncommon sense, given in answer to M Reilly’s question at a press club address;

    Don’t write crap.

  6. Bacchus

    Hear hear cb – Ms Gillard nailed that one! It’s a pity none of the assembled media was allowed to do as she suggested…

  7. Renatha

    Julia Gillard, as a final legacy to thousands of victims, instituted the Royal Commission into Institutional Childhood Abuse. This has not been some mickey mouse token gesture, but was funded and resourced appropriately. I think this is only the beginning of reflection that will continue for decades as a time of government when people and Australia’s best interests were put first as far as the system / media bombardments and distractions allowed.

  8. Carol Taylor

    How very true, Labor has spent a good portion of it’s history being afraid to mention its legacy – until recently dared we even mention the names Whitlam, Keating, Hawke for fear of ridicule. My belief is that in due course we might also permit ourselves to stand proud with the names of Rudd and Gillard and their achievements. Callan, thank you for reminding us.

  9. Wam

    Spot on crow but there was so much crap written about gender, religion and opposition to marriage and repeated day after day on the tele till it was true and believed.
    So many attackers, like pickering and the radio jocks and every misogynist on facebook wading in with lies that she did nothing till that became true and is now believed(funny that our facebook is full of posts that Obama has been a lame duck and, like Gillard has achieved nothing in his stewardship no evidence just the same old repeated crap)
    Sadly even with so many millions spent against her in royal commissions with no result, the smoke and mudslinging has had the effect that no labor can use her name much less her accomplishments.
    My defining moment:
    I was at a conference in Canberra, the PM Gillard spoke to the delegate without notes.
    She addressed the topic of the conference, she was impressive in her knowledge of the background of the associations involved and was even more impressive in the level of interaction and depth of understanding of both the questioners and the questions. Wow, wow, wow.
    The rabbott waltzed in late told us about himself with no reference to the conference agenda. Finished with a homily on how evil labor was and, without taking any questions swanned(another skilled laborite unfairly vilified)out before he was due to end on the program. He received the pauseapplause due to him ie we sat stunned for a couple of seconds before somebody reacted and clapped but he was diving to the exit.

  10. Deanna Jones

    Yes Callen, thanks for the reminder. Nicely written.

  11. Andreas Bimba

    The Liberals and Nationals are worse, even a lot worse in some areas, but to just cherry pick the good and ignore the sick tree that is the ALP is not good writing. I don’t have the desire to do a point by point critique.

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