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As the night wore on, we gathered around the television. Encouraging results came in from all over Australia. Yet my mind was straying away from politics and I had difficulty in joining in the general enthusiasm.

We saw a triumphant Hawke and a devastated Fraser. Watching Fraser concede defeat and resign from the Liberal Party leadership, I could not help feeling some compassion for him. His granite-hard face was showing the ravages of political life, and he was in tears.

Early the next morning, some of us found our way down to the beach. The air was still and warm, and a dozen people were already enjoing the surf. I stood idly at the water's edge, as the bright sun rose from the Pacific.

One of the local women waved to me and smiled:

"You Labor people must be happy after last night," she called.

"We certainly are", I called back.

I turned and walked away down the beach.

There was a rush to get my thesis copied and bound. It was delivered to the University two hours before the deadline, six years after I had started work on the project. The thesis would now be sent to three external examiners, who would report in due course to the Post Graduate Committee of the University. This process would take several months. I could now forget

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