Malcolm Fraser’s Journey of Wisdom

I came home from school on Remembrance Day, 1975 and the Government was gone. Even at that age, I knew enough politics to be shocked and angered by the outcome. I held Fraser responsible and I was joyful in his defeat in March 1983.

But time passes. Besides Shame Fraser Shame stickers peel off schoolbags.

Then Malcolm Fraser started reappearing. He was involved in the campaign against Apartheid. He also became chairman of Care Australia and Care International. I really started to wonder if he was the arch-conservative PM of my childhood.

But it wasn’t until the last few years that I really appreciated Fraser’s contribution to public life. His contributions through Twitter, his appearances on QandA and his articles all showed a man who was on a journey. Not as the unfortunate David Leyondhjelm said, a journey from right-wing extremism to left-wing extremism, but a journey where one questions one’s actions and values and beliefs.

And while Malcolm Fraser and others may hold that he didn’t change and that only politics did, to me his life was a journey of wisdom. I wish there were more like him.


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