Welcome to Issue 14 of Kill Your Darlings. As we go to print, Kevin Rudd has been sworn in as Prime Minister after forcing a leadership spill. Never has our politics been so bloody, so unedifying and so unforgiving. Dignified until the end, former Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s legacy remains to be fully articulated, but we can reflect on her numerous achievements, including passing hundreds of pieces of legislation in a near-deadlocked parliament, and introducing reforms to national disability insurance, climate-change, water protection and international diplomatic relations, particularly with China. And, of course, being elected as this country’s first female prime minister.
Ben Eltham’s lead feature, ‘Gonski-lite: Doing the Sums on School Reform’, is an insightful and timely examination of Gillard’s signature education reform, which genuinely changes the shape of education and opportunity in this country. Accompanying Eltham’s lead feature is a chapter from Craig McGregor’s fascinating memoir, Left Hand Drive. McGregor, a journalist and commentator with 50 years’ experience, reflects on Australian society since the 1960s, pondering what has gone so wrong with our left-wing politics.
Elsewhere in Commentary Estelle Tang reveals her frequent (and sometimes bizarre) mistaken identity, which touches on some uncomfortable questions about racism, while S.A. Jones tackles other forms of prejudice in her personal article on weight gain and identity. In the wake of tragic deaths of young tourists in Laos, Sam Twyford- Moore remembers his own travels to Southeast Asia and the tradition of ‘tubing’. Joanna Di Mattia reads masculinity in screen icon Marlon Brando’s T-shirts, Emily Weekes gets her groove on at Bodyelectric, a popular Melbourne- based amateur dance organisation, and Pip Newling remembers the ‘Kabul Bubble’ while she lived and worked in Afghanistan.
In Fiction, the issue features a new story from Kate Elkington, entitled ‘The Art of Preservation’, which examines the dynamics of an unconventional couple, while in Interviews we chat with indie darling and renowned interviewer Sheila Heti about her recent books, as well as what it’s like to be on the other side of the conversation.
In Reviews, Michelle See-Tho discusses the disturbing film, Compliance, which challenges our preconceptions of surveillance and authority, while Ben O’Mara discusses the art of adaption and Total Recall.
There have also been several recent exciting changes at Kill Your Darlings. We’re delighted announce that Brigid Mullane has been promoted to Deputy Editor, replacing Hannah Kent who now joins Editor Rebecca Starford as Publishing Director. We’re also very happy to announce Jessica Alice’s appointment as Online Assistant Editor, replacing Stephanie van Schilt, who leaves KYD for a newly created role at The Lifted Brow. We thank Steph for her time with us and wish her all the best. Also in staff news, Samantha van Zweden has been appointed Social Media Assistant and she’s already taken to our Tweetdeck like a duck to water.
We warmly welcome our new staff to the KYD fold and look forward to you getting to know them in the coming months.