Michael Mullins | 20 April 2015
We can judge the exuberance of the Anzac commemoration against the nonchalance of the last Anzac Alec Campbell. He said he went to Gallipoli for adventure and, to him, 'Gallipoli is Gallipoli'. John Howard argued Anzac defined our 'sense of self', although he did acknowledge that Anzac is something that was made up. It's better to let historians rather than politicians select events that define the nation, even if they opt for the frontier wars of the 19th century that depict white Australians as violent and racist rather than heroic and virtuous.
Brigitte Dwyer | 17 April 2015
Economists and politicians see productivity as our only hope for the future. We continually assess the productivity of people we meet, with the default question 'What do you do?' The worth of a person can be tied to their productivity, particularly that of older people. Those who advocate legal euthanasia can find it hard to accept that an unproductive life might be worth living.
James Fry | 17 April 2015
I was 14 years old and angry. My mind was fertile ground for an extremist ideology, like today's IS recruits. One day I met 30 year old Mal, whose chosen brand of neo-Nazi whackery presented a simplistic view of the world. Through my own experience, and my ongoing work with troubled youth, I shudder when I hear politicians talk of their commitment to national security yet at the same time defund community programs working with marginalised young people.
Andrew Hamilton | 16 April 2015
The burning of a church offers possibilities. It would be a bold and noble gesture, exactly measured to the destruction done to the Catholic Church by priests' sexual abuse, to leave the ruined walls of St James as a shrine to the victims, a record of the evil that was done, and a pledge that never again will children be unprotected in the Catholic Church.
Tim Kroenert | 16 April 2015
The manner in which Hugh drugs and binds Jay has strong overtones of 'date rape'. More than this, though, there is inherent violence in his having had sex with her at all, knowing that her consent hinged on her ignorance of the real consequences. Now, to be fair, there are men in the film who suffer, too. But the objectification of women by the male gaze and the predatory dynamic this entails is too pervasive to ignore.
Peter Kirkwood | 15 April 2015
Last week corporate heavyweights including Google, Apple and Microsoft were grilled about the practice of moving profits from Australia to lower tax jurisdictions. Rev Elenie Poulos, director of UnitingJustice, speaks about the public interest and social good as defined by neo-liberals, and how this is opposed to the Christian notion of the common good.
Justin Glyn | 15 April 2015
There are few things less palatable – or likely to persuade others to see your point of view – than public humiliation. This week, as Julie Bishop visits Tehran, there are already some signs that these lessons may not have been well learned. If Australia really wants to make a positive difference in the Middle East, it would be better to listen carefully to the many voices than try to push its tired and cruel demands for the boats to stop and for the world to be remade in its own image.
Gayelene Carbis | 14 April 2015
We spent a whole childhood outside houses fighting in our father’s car while women served our father (such a nice man) coffee and cake. We wanted our lives to take off, like a train with a clear destination.
Brian Lawrence | 14 April 2015
A fair minimum wage has to be fair to workers with family responsibilities, many of whom are currently working poor and living in poverty. But in its 2014 Annual Wage Review decision, the Fair Work Commission decided that the 'appropriate reference household for the purposes of setting minimum wages is the single person household'. This was the first time in more than a century of minimum wage setting that an industrial tribunal has decided that minimum wages should exclude the needs of the low paid with families.
Garry Eastman | 09 April 2015
I looked down at the two coffins resting at the edge of the sanctuary and shed a tear for the tragic loss of two great friends. I shed another tear also to see such public recognition of the love these two young men had for each other, to see that it was embraced by the public face of the Church which said clearly, 'Who are we to judge, they are our brothers.'
Elenie Poulos | 02 April 2015
Humans have always pursued wealth and the power it affords, but only relatively recently has the world itself become organised around the service of that wealth. The systems and structures which define the way our world works are financial, geared to the making of profit. They are global and buoyed by governments whose domestic and foreign policies ensure their support. ‘Social good’ and the ‘common good’ are assumed to be economic neoliberalism, and what’s in the ‘public interest’ is whatever advances the neoliberal economic agenda.