Month: February 2017

Mike Rann and his New Role as an Advisor to the Mayor of London

Mike Rann was born in England and moved to Adelaide when he was 10. Mike Rann was elected as the Premier of South Australia thrice and led the Labor Party for 17 years. He resigned from the office in the year 2011 and was replaced by Jay Weatherill as the New Premier. But even after resigning from the party, Rann maintained his loyalty to the ALP.

ALP was looking for a position for Mike Rann in which his wide network of contacts in Britain and US can be wielded, and in 2012, he was appointed as Australian High Commissioner to Britain to work on policies which can help London improve in the next two decades.

Appointment as Australian High Commissioner to Britain

It is believed that Mike Rann’s knowledge in economics and the fact that he was actually born in England and held three different professorial posts here made him the best contender. Moreover, he was also well-connected with both sides of politics in Britain, further worked in his favor. There has also been a very long tradition of appointing someone with the political background for this role, and Mike Rann with his illustrious political career is surely the best choice.

The Speculations

There was a wide-spread speculation about Rann being awarded an overseas posting after quitting the office. It was believed that he would replace the former minister of the Liberal party, Amanda Vanstone, as the Australian Ambassador to Italy as Mike’s wife has an Italian background.

There was also a belief that he would be appointed as the head of World Trade Organization, located in Geneva.

Mike Rann’s Job Role and Contribution to the Commission

As the Australian High Commissioner to Britain, his job will be to search for new ways that can help London improve and make it a more livable place. He will be reporting to the new Mayor Sadiq Khan about the same.

Lord Andrew Adonis will chair the Commission under which Mike Rann is appointed. Lord Adonis was the cabinet minister to Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown in the past.

The commission will majorly focus on searching for ways with the help of which London can continue to be a leading financial capital of the world and how the increasing population can be provided with better health and transport services in the city.

Mike Rann’s Reaction to the Appointment

Media: After being appointed as the advisor to the Mayor of London, he told FairFax Magazine that he is delighted with the appointment.

In an interview, Mike Rann said that the commission would look into things needed to make London more connected, productive, cleaner, sustainable and inclusive.

With such an impressive political career in South Australia, this new role of being the Australian High Commissioner to Britain is certainly well-suited for Mike Rann and just like all his past positions; he will surely bring justice to his new role.

Achievements of Mike Rann as the Minister of Climate Change

Mike Rann was the 44th Premier of South Australia and was elected thrice for the role before retiring in the year 2011. Apart from being the Premier of South Australia, he was also the Minister for Sustainability and Climate Change.

As a Premier and Minister for Sustainability and Climate Change, Mike Rann took several measures to protect the environment.

Mike Rann as Minister of Climate Change

  • Recycling Incentive Program: In the year 2008, Rann Government announced that South Australians would be paid 10 cents for every can and bottle that they recycled.
  • Ban on non-recyclable Plastics: He also imposed a complete ban on the use of non-reusable plastic bags in South Australia to prevent around 400 million bags from ending in litter streams every year. He also encouraged other territories and states to do the same and reduce the use of plastic bags in Australia.
  • Environmental Protection of Nullarbor Plain: The large area of Nullarbor Plain which measures around 200km was announced to be given the status of Wilderness Protection. This move by the Rann government was to double the total amount of land under environmental protection in Australia. This large area which stretches from the border of Western Australia all the way to the Great Australian Bight is home to more than 390 different species of plants and large habitats of rare birds and animals.
  • Ban on Mining in Arkaroola: In 2011, the government announced that the Arkaroola Protection Area would be offered permanent protection and no mining activities will continue in this area. Arkaroola was a popular mining location and this move by Mike Rann angered the entire mining industry. Moreover, special legislation was also put in place to prohibit mining exploration, mining, and grazing at the location.

Climate Change Council

Under Climate Change and Greenhouse Emissions Reduction Act of 2007, Mike Rann’s government established a Climate Change Council. The group is still active and focuses on providing advice to ministers who are responsible for climate change about the matters that are related to the changing climate and greenhouse emissions. The members of this group are from conservation and environment sector, the business community, local and state governments, and scientific community.

Some of the areas on which the Council offered advice include-

  • Ways to achieve energy efficiency
  • Development of methods that can help reduce the number of greenhouse gasses from atmosphere
  • Promoting renewable energy
  • Assessing the losses by not taking effective measures to protect environment and assessing the costs for implementing measures that can limit and reduce climate change
  • Opportunities that can help reduce or limit climate change

Apart from providing advice, the council plays an important leadership role in providing businesses, conservation, and environment sector, and other communities about the problems related to climate change.

Mike Rann also joined International Council of The Climate Group which works internationally along with government and business to promote the use of cleaner policies and technologies. Moreover, Exnora International, an Indian environmental service NGO honored him with the Global Champion of Climate Change Award in the year 2010.

Achievements of Mike Rann Government

Mike Rann is one of the most influential political figures in Australia. He was the 44th Premier of South Australia and was elected thrice before he resigned in the year 2011. His political career spans across two decades and throughout his tenure as the Premier of South Australia, his government contributed abundantly to the development of Australia.

Let us go through some important contributions of Mike Rann to the development of Australia.

2002 to 2006

  • Social Responsibility: Mike Rann was elected as the Premier for the first time in the year 2002. His government largely focused on reducing unemployment, increasing job numbers, increasing funding for medical facilities and educational infrastructure and taking measures to protect the environment, like promoting solar power for common use. It was during his regime that the debt of South Australia achieved AAA rating.
  • Cultural Achievement: He also subsidized theaters, introduced Festival of Ideas, and encouraged film festivals. Adelaide Fringe Festival, Adelaide Festival of Arts and WOMAD were made annual festivals during his regime.
  • Ban on State Assets: During his first term as the Premier, a total ban was imposed on the privatization of the state assets and shop trading across Adelaide metro area was introduced.
  • Educational: Even the school leaving age was increased to 16 and was again increased to 17.
  • PACE Scheme: The government also took up new projects in mining and introduced PACE scheme for encouraging and subsidizing mining explorations.

2007 to 2011

Mike Rann was re-elected as the Premier in the 2006 and 2010 elections.

  • Focus on Infrastructure: The investments in infrastructure between 2007 and 2011 are the biggest in the history of South Australia. Some of the most important projects during this period, include rail electrification of the train lines in Adelaide, tram line expansion in Adelaide, redevelopment of Adelaide Oval, construction of Royal Adelaide Hospital, redesigning of the riverbank at River Torrens, expansion of defense and mining industries, along with several major road projects.
  • Focus on Environment and Recycling: In the year 2008, the government announced that the people in South Australia would receive 10 cents for every bottle or cans they recycle. In 2009, the government also imposed a complete ban on the use of non-reusable polyethylene bags which were commonly used in supermarkets.
  • Protecting the Ecosystem: In 2011, Mike Rann announced that the Nullarbor Plain which stretches almost 200kms would be given a Wilderness Protection Status to increase the total amount of area under protection in South Australia.
  • Ban on Mining: In the same year, Rann Government imposed a ban on mining in the Arkaroola Protection Area and he also nominated this area to achieve a world heritage site status.

Right from the environment-protecting measures now practiced in South Australia, stable economy, to improving job scenario, it was Mike Rann who laid the foundation of rich benefits which the people of South Australia are now reaping. Mike Rann’s regime as the Premier of South Australia is one of the longest in the history of this state and not just when he was elected as the Premier, but throughout his political career of almost two decades, he has extensively contributed to the development of Australia.

While he currently resides in London where he is the CEO of Rann Strategy Group and a member of King’s Commission, he said that they would soon call Adelaide home again.


Mike Rann and His Good Days in the Office

Mike Rann has one of the most influential careers in South Australian politics. He was selected as the 44th Premier of South Australia in the year 2002 and was then re-elected in the years 2006 and 2010.
Even before becoming a Premier, Mike Rann already held several important positions in the state, like that of being the Minister for Employment and Further Education, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, Minister of Youth Affairs and a lot more. Moreover, as a Premier too, he was playing multiple roles as the Minister for Social Inclusion, Minister for Sustainability and Climate Change, Minister for the Arts and Minister for Economic Development.
Needless to say, his impressive career in South Australian which lasted for almost two decades was always in the news.
Some highlights of his political career-
• 1985 Election- It was in the year 1985 that Mike Rann was first elected to Parliament as a Member for Safe Labor seat. Four years later in the state poll, he became the Aboriginal affairs, youth affairs, and employment minister.
John Bannon resigned due to the collapse of State Bank, and Mike Rann then became the business and tourism minister under Premier Lynn Arnold. In the electoral redistribution, his Safe Labor seat was abolished, and he was elected to the Ramsay seat during the 1993 elections, which the Labor party lost.
• 1994 to 2002- Mr. Rann was selected as the Deputy Opposition Leader until Premier Lynn Arnold resigned as the opposition leader in the year 1994. It was him who took the Labor Party to victory in the 1997 election. Mike was the opposition leader during the 2002 election when the Labor Party was only a single seat short of being the majority.
Peter Lewis who was a former member of the liberal party but now an independent MP supported Labor Party. This made Labor Party the majority in Parliament, and Mike Rann became the South Australian Premier.
• 2006 to 2011- Mike Rann again won the polls in 2006. In the same year, he also married Sasha Carruozzo who was an actress. Winning defense contracts and expanding the mining industry of Australia was some of the major achievements of the Rann government.
The political momentum started turning in 2009 after the allegations of Mike Rann having an affair with Michelle Chantelois, a staff member of the Parliament. Seven Network, the television network which broadcasted the affair allegations paid an out-of-court settlement and an apology to Mike Rann for the allegations.
• Resignation- However, he somehow managed to be re-elected as the Premier in the 2010 elections. In the year 2011, the pressure on Labor Party was increased by the powerbrokers to ask Mike Rann to step aside and allow Jay Weatherill, the Education Minister from ALP Left Faction, to become the new Premier.
On 20th of October 2011, Mike Rann resigned from the Parliament and Jay Weatherill was made the 45th Premier of South Australia.
After his career in the Parliament, Mike Rann was appointed as a professor at Flinders University and as visiting fellowship at the University of Auckland. He was also selected as a member of the International Climate Group and International Board of Ecological Sequestration Trust. He is now the CEO of Rann Strategy Group and a member of King’s Commission in London.

Alumni of University of Auckland Making Their Mark in the World: Mike Rann, Lucy Lawless, and Others

The largest university in New Zealand, University of Auckland, is also the highest-ranked university in the country and stands at the 87th spot in the 2016/17 list of best universities in the world of QS World University Rankings. The university was established in the year 1883 and currently has six campuses and eight faculties. More than 40,000 students attend the University of Auckland.
Needless to say, the university has several notable alumni who are making their mark throughout the world. Some of the most famous ones are-
• Mike Rann
Mike Rann was the 44th Premier of South Australia who was first elected as the Premier in 2002 and was then re-elected in 2006 and 2010. Throughout his illustrious political career, South Australia went through a major transformation and became a more economically stable state.
After resigning from the Parliament in 2011, Mike Rann was appointed as a professor at Flinders University and as a visiting fellowship at University of Auckland. He is now the CEO of Rann Strategy Group and Australia’s Ambassador to San Marino, Italy, Libya and Albania.
• Vincent Cheng
Cheng is the first ever Chinese CEO of HSBC Holdings plc. He was also the first ever Chinese Chairman of the HSBC Bank between 2005 and 2010. He did his Master of Philosophy in Economics from University of Auckland and first joined the HSBC in the year 1978 as an assistant in the Group Finance department.
In 1995, he was appointed as the Member of Executive Council and was also a Member of Hong Kong’s Legislative Council. In the year 2008, he was appointed as the Member of National Committee of CPPCC.
• Helen Clark
Helen Clark was 37th Prime Minister of New Zealand and served the country between 1999 and 2008. She was the first women to be elected as a Prime Minister in New Zealand and held the office for 5th longest duration. Helen graduated from University of Auckland in the year 1974 and was already an active member of the Labor Party of New Zealand when she was a teenager.
In 2005, Clark was awarded the Star of Solomon Islands Award and UN’s Environment Program Champions of the Earth Award in 2008 due to her role in promoting sustainability initiatives as the Prime Minister of New Zealand.
• Lucy Lawless
Popular for playing the role of Xena in Xena: Warrior Princess, Lucy Lawless is another University of Auckland alumnus. Lucy was born on 29th of March in 1968 and started acting when she was in secondary school. She also won the Mrs. New Zealand competition in the year 1989 when she was only 21.
She debuted on TV as a cast member of Funny Business which was followed by a role in the film Hercules and the Amazon Women. Apart from popular television shows, like Battlestar Galactica, Spartacus: Blood and Sand, Salem, Lucy has also worked in several movies, like Spiderman, Justice League: The New Frontier, and Boogeyman.
Many of the University of Auckland’s alumni are doing incredible work in their field and bringing more glory to the university. Apart from the natural talent of its students, the University too has played an integral role in encouraging the students to be what they are today.

Top Australians you should know about

What does the word “great” really mean? Specifically, when do you associate a person with the word “great”? It is usually a description of someone who has exceptional qualities or a tag which conveys a feeling of satisfaction and pride.
Greatest Australians are the individuals who have played an integral role in making the country what it is today or someone who has made Australia proud. It can be political leaders, sports stars, business identities and other inspirational personalities. While there are several Australian personalities that fit the bill, this post will talk about a few of them.
• Mike Rann
The 44th Premier of South Australia is one of the most influential political figures. Mike Rann first became the Premier in the year 2002 and was then re-elected in 2006 and 2010 elections. Right from infrastructure in the state, job scenario, promoting environment-friendly measures, to the economic condition, Rann government abundantly contributed to the development of South Australia and made it a better place for the Australians. He resigned in the year 2011, and Jay Weatherill became the 45th Premier of the state.
• Julian Assange
Born on 3rd of July 1971, Julian Assange is a computer programmer, journalist and publisher, and someone who now needs no introduction. He founded WikiLeaks in the year 2006 and achieved prominence all over the world in 2010 when the organization released several leaks, like Collateral Murder, war logs of Afghanistan and Iraq, CableGate, etc. His popularity all over the world increased during the 2016 US Presidential elections when the organization released Podesta emails and DNC leaks.
• Iggy Azalea
Iggy Azalea was born in Sydney in the year 1990. She is a popular rapper, actress, singer, and model. The New Classic, Iggy’s first studio album ruled several charts all over the world and received rave reviews. She also topped Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and became the first non-American female rapper to achieve this feat. Iggy received two American Music Awards and also an MTV Video Music Award in the year 2014. MTV Europe Music Award, three Teen Choice Awards, ARIA Award, and People’s Choice Awards are some other awards Iggy has won in the past few years.
• Heath Ledger
Heathcliff Andrew “Heath” Ledger was born on 4th of April in 1979 and is remembered for his award-winning performance as the Joker in the Dark Knight. Heath has worked in many Hollywood projects, including The Patriot, Lords of Dogtown, A Knight’s Tale, Brokeback Mountain and Monster’s Ball. Heath also made some music videos and had aspirations of becoming a movie director. He died in the year 2008 from the accidental intoxication of prescription drugs.
The personalities mentioned above are only a few of the greatest personalities that this country has produced. While Australians are known to lounge on sunny beaches throughout the day, work remains a major focus, and it is a natural talent and focus on work which has made it one of the wealthiest and a leading country in education, health, and economic freedom.

What the world needs to learn from Mike Rann to tackle Environmental Pollution

While civilians are responsible for doing their share in curbing environmental pollution, Presidents, Premiers, and other Government Ministers play a more important role in encouraging the civilians. A Premier who has worked extensively to tackle environment pollution is Mike Rann. The 44th Premier of South Australia established several laws to help reduce the pollution in South Australia.

Let us have a look at some of the most important steps taken by Rann Government to tackle environment pollution and what the world and other leaders can learn from him.

Wilderness Protection Status to Nullarbor Plain

In the year 2011, Rann Government announced that Nullarbor Plain, a vast area which stretches almost 200km would be given Wilderness Protection Status. Due to this move, the total area under environmental protection in South Australia would double to a total of 1.80 million hectares. The area was known to have more than 350 species of plants and rare birds and animal species.

Mining Ban at Arkaroola Protection Area

In the same year, Rann Government announced protection to the Arkaroola Protection Area and banned mining here. Special legislation was also put in place by the government to prohibit mining exploration, mining, and grazing in this area. Moreover, he also nominated Arkaroola Protection Area as a world heritage site.

Climate Change Council

A Climate Change Council was also established during Mike Rann’s regime as Premier of South Australia. The council members were responsible for providing advice to ministers who are responsible for Climate Change about climate change and reduction of greenhouse gas emission.

Global Champion of Climate Change Honor

Exnora International honored Mike Rann as the “Global Champion of Climate Change” in the year 2010 in India. This award was for his leading role in reducing carbon emission and environmental protection.

Mike Rann is a perfect example of how Government Ministers can take effective steps to reduce environmental pollution. While he was required to face several hardships for taking environment-protecting measures in South Australia, especially from the mining industry, the country is now reaping the rich benefits of the laws and legislations established by the Rann Government.

How Can We Fight Environmental Pollution?

While civilians and government all over the world are now realizing the importance of protecting the environment, there is still a very long way to go. At the Climate Summit in Paris in the year 2015, 195 countries signed an agreement to reduce carbon emission to limit warming.

Some of the most effective and simplest of actions that can be taken include-

  • Powering homes with renewable energy
  • Purchasing appliances that are energy-efficient
  • Drive vehicles that are fuel-efficient
  • Reduce carbon profile
  • Reduce, reuse and recycle
  • Plant trees
  • Conserve water

The government of countries can take several measures to encourage civilians to take up the actions mentioned above. It only requires us to be a little mindful of playing our part in protecting the environment. And it is the government as well as the civilians that can work hand-in-hand to keep the planet preserved for future.