Jim Fouras

Interviewed by
Danielle Miller & Maree Stanley
Jul 25 2011
Jim Fouras
Time Summary Keywords
00:00:05 Jim Fouras summarises his early history, from the time he arrived from Greece at age 10, and through his primary and secondary education at Southport, focusing on the challenges facing him as a young migrant. He outlines his university degree in chemistry and employment in laboratory science before his interest in social science and politics led him to undertake a degree in economics and, eventually, to stand for parliament in 1977.
00:03:03 Jim Fouras discusses his life before politics, focusing on his various voluntary positions, including the State Superannuation Board, local community centres and sport.
00:04:50 Jim Fouras discusses his preselection and campaigning for the 1977 election, commenting on the important role that sport played in raising his profile, and the positives and negative impacts of his migrant background. He discusses the increasing importance of his ethnicity as he grew older, and the disappointment of being disendorsed in 1986. 1977 election, 1986 election, factions, Migrant issues, racism, Sport
00:09:35 Jim Fouras discusses his decision to join the Labor Party following the 1966 election, contrasting the cohesion of that time with what he sees as the rampant self-interest of today, and commenting on his family's long involvement with left-wing politics. Cannon Hill, Public Sector Union, Vincent Gair
00:13:32 Jim Fouras speaks about his early life in Greece during World War II and the subsequent Greek Civil War, his father's decision to send him to Australia, his mother's life long regret that he left, and the importance of his Greek identity. Migrant issues
00:18:15 Jim Fouras discusses his politicisation through resistance to the Vietnam War and the Bjelke-Petersen Government, and Tom Burns' encouragement to run for parliament. Bjelke-Petersen Government 1968-87, Tom Burns
00:21:54 Jim Fouras discusses the issues surrounding the 1979 intervention, including his involvement in branch-based activism and the reform group. Bill Hayden, Gang of Four, Gough Whitlam, Jack Egerton, Tom Burns
00:26:52 Jim Fouras discusses his campaign strategies over almost 30 years in politics. He discusses HREOC and his involvement with the 1989 Burdekin report into homelessness. Brian Burdekin, campaign strategy, HREOC
00:31:37 Jim Fouras discusses his decision to move from South Brisbane to The Gap, the Labor Party's subsequent invitation to run for Ashgrove, and his campaign strategy. campaign strategy, human rights
00:37:16 Jim Fouras reflects on the importance and impact of door-knocking as a campaign technique, dealing with the diverse views of constituents, and maintaining his principles. anti-discrimination, campaign strategy, Catholic schools, homosexuality, poker machines
00:41:51 Jim Fouras talks about his scant introduction to parliament as a new member in 1977 and his relationship with the media. media, Speaker
00:43:51 Jim Fouras discusses his sharp learning curve on becoming Shadow Minister for Welfare Services and Prisons in 1977, and the numerous people who helped him. Bjelke-Petersen Government 1968-87, Boggo Road Gaol, Corrective Services, juvenile justice, sexual abuse, Tony Koch, Welfare Services, women's refuges, Woodford Prison
00:47:33 Jim Fouras recalls the issues surrounding the illegal resumption of land around Kangaroo Point, and his reputation as a trouble-shooter and social justice advocate. adoption, Bjelke-Petersen Government 1968-87, corruption, Iwasaki Project, Joh Bjelke-Petersen, Kangaroo Point
00:52:02 Jim Fouras discusses his support for refugee and migrant issues, and the difficulty of maintaining principles in politics. Kevin Rudd, Migrant issues
00:54:20 Jim Fouras discusses his relationship with the public service while in the shadow ministry, the difficulty of obtaining support or information, and the importance of public service leaks in exposing corruption. Bjelke-Petersen Government 1968-87, corruption, CTP Insurance, Leo Hielscher
00:57:51 Jim Fouras talks about the role of committees during his time in the shadow ministry, particularly the legislation and library committees. Bjelke-Petersen Government 1968-87, committee system, John Greenwood, Kevin Hooper, Mike Ahern
01:03:51 Jim Fouras describes the disappointment of being disendorsed in 1986, the role of the Labor factions, his relationship with the government after being re-elected in 1989, and taking up the position of Parliamentary Speaker. Anne Warner, factions, Goss Government 1989-96, Speaker
01:08:05 Jim Fouras describes implementing parliamentary reforms, including the development of education programs, the removal of the Union Jack, and the creation of new committees. committee system, Goss Government 1989-96, parliamentary reform, Speaker, Tom Burns
01:12:43 Jim Fouras discusses his role as Speaker, particularly the development of education programs and the idea of televising parliament, and the importance of the independence of parliament. Goss Government 1989-96, Speaker, Wolffdene Dam
01:16:53 Jim Fouras recalls the challenges to his authority as Speaker in the early days of the Labor Government, and his visit to the House of Commons. Goss Government 1989-96, Speaker, Westminster system
01:19:17 Jim Fouras describes criticisms of his performance as Speaker, and challenges to his authority. Beattie Government 1998-2007, Goss Government 1989-96, Joan Sheldon, Speaker
01:22:57 Jim Fouras talks about the difficulty of maintaining order in the parliament, the role of the caucus, and the attempt to remove him from the role of Speaker in 1995. Beattie Government 1998-2007, factions, Goss Government 1989-96, Joh Bjelke-Petersen, Speaker
01:26:42 Jim Fouras recalls the 1995 election, the Mundingburra by-election, and their impact on Goss's leadership. Goss Government 1989-96, leadership, Mundingburra by-election 1996
01:28:31 Jim Fouras discusses the successful and unsuccessful legislation introduced under Goss, the difficulty of balancing the electorate's needs with budgetary constraints, and his conflict with the Premier over the Speaker position. adoption, Freedom of Information, Goss Government 1989-96, prisons, regions, Speaker
01:34:43 Jim Fouras describes generating policy as a shadow minister and the importance of his relationship with various advocacy groups, as well as his work to help disadvantaged individuals in his electorate. Bjelke-Petersen Government 1968-87, Corrective Services, Welfare Services
01:38:07 Jim Fouras discusses his distance from the Labor factions and the damage he believes the factions are doing to the party. Beattie Government 1998-2007, factions, unions
01:40:49 Jim Fouras voices his disappointment at the 2011 direction of immigration policy and attitudes to refugees. Immigration issues, Migrant issues, One Nation
01:47:38 Jim Fouras comments on the policies and leadership qualities of Queensland premiers since the late 1970s, particularly those of Peter Beattie. Joh Bjelke-Petersen, leadership, Lionel Powell, Mike Ahern, Peter Beattie, Wayne Goss
01:53:41 Jim Fouras reflects on the Beattie Government, particularly the Smart State initiative. Beattie Government 1998-2007, Smart State
01:55:52 Jim Fouras expresses his regret that he never held a ministry, and his pleasure at still being respected in his electorate.
01:57:47 Interview ends.