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After the election defeat on 2 March 1996, Paul Keating resigned as Labor leader. Kim Beazley won the Labor leadership ballot and became Leader of the Opposition. Paul Keating also resigned from his parliamentary seat on 23 April 1996, before the new parliament met the following week.
In 1997 Paul Keating declined to accept the Companion of the Order of Australia, and is the only former prime minister not to hold the award since Australian honours were instituted in 1975.
Since resigning from parliament, Paul Keating has maintained an interest in the areas he was associated with in office. He has been a visiting professor of public policy at the University of New South Wales and is patron of the John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library in Western Australia.
In March 2000 he published Engagement: Australia Faces the Asia-Pacific, a book examining his government's foreign policy objectives and achievements. The book has been translated into Japanese and Chinese for publication by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
Paul Keating has been awarded Honorary Doctorates in Laws from Keio University in Tokyo (May 1995), the National University of Singapore (September 1999) and the University of New South Wales (April 2003). He contributes regularly to the public debate in Australia and abroad through speeches, newspaper pieces and television and radio interviews. He is a frequent visitor to China and the Asian region and is sought after as a speaker at national and international conferences.
In 2005, Casey Bennett wrote Keating! The Musical, a popular stage show about Paul Keating's political career, which toured Australia during a three-year run.
Paul Keating remains active in New South Wales affairs and is a prominent commentator on federal politics and a sought-after speaker on key issues. Recent speeches include his address to the national congress of the Urban Development Institute of Australia in Sydney in 2010 and his Lowitja O'Donoghue Oration in Adelaide in 2011.
Edwards, John, Keating: The Inside Story, Viking, 1996.
Keating, Paul, Engagement: Australia Faces the Asia-Pacific, Macmillan, 2000.
Lowe, David, Unfinished Business: Paul Keating's Interrupted Revolution, Scribe, 2008.