John Howard Australia's second longest serving Prime Minster, For 21 years he was either a minister or shadow minister.
As Prime Minister, Howard is best known for the sale of Telstra, for changes to the tax system and to Indigenous land rights legislation and for overseeing the failed referendum on the Republic.
He also played a central role in changing workplace relations, in overseeing the War on Terror and the Iraq war, and in changing Australia's policies toward asylum seekers.
In the year running up to the 1996 election Howard attacked the Labor government of Keating on its record of economic management and campaigned on a promise of drastically reducing government debt and spending.
Howard's first political test was gun control.
Three weeks after he took office, the Port Arthur massacre saw the murder of 35 people in Tasmania.
Relations with the Indigenous community were not helped by further controversy surrounding the Howard government's refusal to apologise to the so-called 'Stolen Generation'.
There was more controversy over the government's plans to reduce public debt and make the economy more competitive by selling-off government assets.
This included the privatisation of Telstra, which was widely opposed in the Senate and in the public.
In June of 1999, the Senate finally approved the government's plans for selling off a large part of Telstra.
This agreement hinged on the support of two Independents with whom political deals were done to pass the legislation. introduction of a Goods and Services Tax
'GST' as their main policy initiative. the GST and the sale of Telstra had given Howard what he considered his two greatest triumphs as Prime Minister.
• The Workplace Relations and Other Legislation Amendment Act 1997 (Cth), which aimed to reform industrial relations and certified agreements in the workplace;
• The Social Security Legislation Amendment (Work for the Dole) Act 1997(Cth), which put in place work programs in which people who received unemployment benefits could be required to participate;
• The Natural Heritage Trust of Australia Act 1997 (Cth), which established a Natural Heritage Trust Fund with some of the proceeds of the partial privatisation of Telstra;
• The Native Title