Students Interview longest serving Labor Foreign Minister

ATAR Modern History – Interview with Hon. Mr Gareth Evans

On Wednesday 3 August 2022, Year 12 ATAR Modern History students from ViSN and Emmanuel Catholic College had the privilege of speaking with the Hon. Mr Gareth Evans, the longest serving Labor Foreign Minister. Mr Evans joined a Teams call from his home in Melbourne to answer the students questions on Australia’s Engagement with Asia from 1945 until 2001.

Mr Evans began by chatting with the students about where they were located and what they were planning to do next year, before demonstrating his extensive knowledge of Australian International Relations, not just from his own time but before and after too. He spoke very fondly of the relationships forged with Foreign Ministers from a number of Asian countries as well as the complexities of the situations in Cambodia, and East Timor. He spoke of his time as Foreign Minister being very different to today, as it was easier to be a ‘good citizen, during an optimistic time’.

For our students this was an excellent opportunity to speak with and listen to someone who they were studying. To hear the thoughts and perspectives from a real person, rather than reading articles online made the learning experience much more engaging and real.

Mr Evans challenged the students in their role as the younger generation to be involved in politics and international relations – a message that has not fallen on deaf ears. One student is now seriously looking into becoming Foreign Minister in the future after listening to the talk today.

A big thank you to Mrs Kylie Kingdon who organised the presentation and booked Mr Evans in to speak to the students enabling them to hear from this significant person in Australian history.