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Eric Shackle Writes: Coming Events Cast Their Shadows Before Them

Eric Shackle writes about the colourful Rudd family who have left their imprint on Australian politics.

“Coming events cast their shadows before them,” Scottish poet Thomas Campbell wrote in 1781. In 1940, in Sydney, Cinesound released an 83-minute black-and-white film, “Dad Rudd, MP”. That was 17 years before Australia’s Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, was born!

If the film is ever shown again (which is to be hoped) it should be retitled “Grandad Rudd, MP” as Kevin and his wife Therese have three grown-up children.

In 1981, Kevin married Therese Rein, whom he had met when they were both residents at Birgmann College during their first year of university. They have three children: Jessica (born 1984), Nicholas (born 1986), and Marcus (born 1993),[and one grand-daughter, Josephine (born 2012); Josephine is the daughter of Jessica and her husband Albert Tse, whom she married in 2007.

Daughter Jessica is a former solicitor, campaign worker, and PR consultant, and is now a writer. She earned a Bachelor of Arts (Political Science) and Bachelor of Laws. Hong Kong-born, Cantonese-speaking son-in-law Albert Tse has been reported as having been, or being, a solicitor and banker at Bankwest.. Elder son Nicholas married Zara Shafruddin, whom he had met at his sister's wedding, on April 14, 2012 at St. James’ Church, Sydney. Both are solicitors at the Sydney branch of the law firm Clayton Utz. Nicholas proposed to Zara in Prague three years earlier.[Younger son Marcus has completed secondary education and, like his elder brother, has studied Mandarin. Rudd's nephew, Van Thanh Rudd, is a Melbourne-based artist and activist.

“Kevin Rudd is a descendant of underwear and sugar thieves and forgers,” the London Daily Telegraph reported on July 31, 2008.

“Researchers looking into Mr Rudd's family history discovered that his fourth great-grandfather, Thomas Rudd, was transported to Australia in 1801 to serve a seven-year sentence for ‘unlawfully acquiring a bag of sugar’.

“However, his crime is eclipsed by that of the prime minister's paternal fifth great-grandmother Mary Wade, a London street urchin who made a pittance by sweeping streets and begging.

“In 1788, aged 12, she and an older girl coaxed an eight-year-old girl into a toilet where they relieved her of ‘her dress, petticoats, a linen tippet, and a cap’ and Wade was sentenced ‘to be hanged by the neck til she be dead’ after a trial at London's Old Bailey in January 1789 but the sentence was commuted to transportation to the colony of New South Wales.

“Another relative of the prime minister was convicted of forging coins. Mr Rudd's paternal fifth great-grandmother Catherine Lahey arrived in Sydney in 1800 after forging one shilling and sixpence to pay her rent.”

. VIDEO: Kevin swearing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOUFKZBpFTY


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