The Lion Leaves his Den

October 23, 2013 by J-Wire Staff
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Last month, former Foreign Minister in the Gillard/Rudd governments Senator Bob Carr told J-Wire in response to questions about  retiring: “I intend to become a lion in the Senate.” He has announced he will submit his retirement to the President of the Senate tomorrow.

Foreign Minister Bob Carr

Foreign Minister Bob Carr

Not considered by many in the community  to be currently enamoured with Israel, the former Foreign Minister said he felt honoured to have been able to have served for 18 months as Foreign Minister of Australia. He paid tribute to the quality of the public servants with whom he worked in DFAT, AUSAID and ASIS and to Australia’s heads of missions around the world.

He said he was proud to have contributed to the management and enhancement of Australia’s important relationships with the US and China, visiting China three times; to Australia’s success in winning its position on the Security Council by a vote of 140 out of 193; to a closer alignment of Australia and the 10 nations of ASEAN reflecting the spirit of the White Paper, ‘Australia in the Asian Century’; specifically to the enhancement of relations with Myanmar; to an elevation of Australia’s relations with the Arab world, 11 countries of which he visited in 18 months; to Australia’s reputation as a good global citizen with generous overseas development assistance.

“I was pleased to have been involved in the final stages of the Arms Trade Treaty which places controls for the first time on export of small arms,” Senator Carr said.

“I was pleased my first bilateral meeting was with the Indonesian Foreign Minister Dr Marty Natalegawa and that I visited Indonesia on five occasions. I count the work on this relationship as particularly happy and positive.

“I was honoured to chair the two meetings of Commonwealth foreign ministers that agreed on a Commonwealth Charter committing all 53 members of the Commonwealth to democratic norms and practices, respect for human rights and opposition to discrimination on any grounds.

“It was an honour to represent Australia at the G20.”

Mr Carr said Australia’s foreign policy is successful even though, as an American diplomat said to him, many Australians would grow restless upon hearing this.

He acknowledged Prime Minister Gillard’s successful work in elevating relations with China to a strategic partnership with annual meetings of leaders. He also acknowledged Kevin Rudd’s achievements in diplomacy including the G20, East Asia Summit and the launch of Australia’s bid for the UN Security Council.

“As Foreign Minister I was very conscious I was working in a tradition and policy setting shaped by previous foreign ministers and prime ministers. From my first day I stressed continuity.”

Mr Carr said he was accepting two part-time teaching appointments.

Mr Carr said he would become a Professorial Fellow in the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre at the University of Sydney, the premier interdisciplinary centre of academic excellence on Southeast Asia, bringing together nearly 230 academics from more than a dozen faculties who are actively engaged in academic and policy research.

“I shall also be taking up a position as Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of NSW where I look forward to the opportunity to work through the lessons I have learned as Premier and Foreign Minister about Australia’s engagement with Asia, and especially China, in dialogue with UNSW researchers on Asia, China and in International Relations.”

Mr Carr said he had enjoyed a reputation for a deep interest in American politics and had written and spoken about Australian politics.

“I look forward to further developing, maintaining and expanding the relationships and experiences I’ve been privileged to have enjoyed in Asia.

“Life is a learning experience, and the last 18 months has been the richest learning experience imaginable.


12 Responses to “The Lion Leaves his Den”
  1. Lynne Newington says:

    TheConversation subscriber Michael Sheehan certainly gave me cause for concern with his link to The Australian October 16th. Israel attack threatens Tanya Plibersek’s….
    I can see why there’s a suggestion for her to think seriously about her role as Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister.

  2. Wendy says:

    Agreed.The man did a lot of damage. Good riddance!

  3. Eleonora says:

    I agree Good Riddence and I’m in full agreement with Bella, he will probably be more dangerous in a teaching position. Is he a fanatic Muslim terrorist in disguise??

  4. Otto Waldmann says:

    – Bob Carr never a diplomat in his CV prior to DEMANDING the FA portofolio, yet, CHIEF Diplomat on request. A brilliant 18 month career !!
    – Bob Carr never published an academic book or paper as such ( apart from his Uni. degree essays which would not be published as such ), yet he considers himself good enough to rub shoulders with genuine academics ( PhD, heaps of publications on specific subjects etc.) and, bingo, Professor Carr , no less.

    Someone ( in the profession !!) should make a comprehensive profile of the super ego Carr and all the “interesting” traits thereof.

    Anyawy , I must enlist my own: GODD RIDDANCE !!!!

    But wait, there is more: Prof. Carr will, most defeinitely, be invited by some Jewish org. soon enough as – what else but – A FFRIEND OF THE JEWISH COMMUNITY AND OF ISRAEL .Mark my words and Prof. Carr will tell us , once again, about his glorious achievements in fostering Aust.- Israel realtionship, lecturing us how WE should pursue our interests. Have you seen/heard him the other days when, after less than 2 years in Labor Federal politics, he told them what was wrong with THEM ( not him ) in the leadership.
    Yes, unless Prof Carr gets what he wants, being ONLY top positions, whether qualified or not, he is not going to waste another 6 bloody years as a mere Senator representing a Party he reckons it is not functioning well at all. Well, Prof., if it is YOUR Party, which has acceded to all your whims and you are so bloody smart, shouldn’t you do something with your academic brains in improving it more or less on a pro bono basis !!?? Nop, Prof . Carr is saying: No ego acclaim, no “favours”.
    You can imagine the chorus of ” good riddens !!!!!” within the Labor Party !!!

    • Otto Waldmann says:

      ……..forgot to mention. In Latin “rideo, ridere ” means “to laugh “, hence my “riddens “.

  5. Jonathan says:

    Out of the frying pan into the fire with plibersek as his replacement.

    All we can hope for is that she tones down her rhetoric for the sake of her high ambitions.

  6. Bella says:

    Good riddance from politics is fine – but he can probably do as much harm or even more harm influencing the next generation at uni. I hope he sticks to Asian studies – but my hunch based on his record is that he will create opportunities to bad mouth Israel at every chance.

  7. Rami says:

    He single handidly destroyed most if not all of the Jewish support for labour

  8. Pamela says:

    good riddance

  9. Gedalia says:

    I hope the door hits him hard on the tuches on his way out.

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