• Feature Article

    The changing face of the law across generations

    Frank Brennan |  Next year marks the 50th anniversary of the amendment to the Constitution which took out the adverse references to Aborigines. Following our recent election, we are assured at least six, and possibly seven, members of our national parliament who proudly claim an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander heritage. They are represented in all parties and none. How good it would be if our elected Aboriginal politicians could come together across party lines and propose an amendment to the Constitution which recognises them.
  • Feature Article

    Prisoners of their own stories

    Brian Matthews |  Holocaust survivor Primo Levi wrote If This is a Man to carry out what he saw as the critical task of bearing witness, and he became one of the greatest writers of the 20th century as he continued to bear witness one way and another in later books. Some day, one of Australia's asylum seekers will, like Levi and with the same sense of dread and horror, tell his or her story to ensure that someone bears witness; and to confirm that all of us are implicated.
  • Feature Article

    Hanson supporters must accept world has changed

    13 Comments
    Fatima Measham |  Rather than her reprise, it was the appeals for civility that I found more disconcerting. Katharine Murphy, Margo Kingston and Tracey Spicer ran variations of the argument that confronting the things that Hanson and her party stand for would inflate her status (as if getting elected into the senate has not already done that). Kingston suggests seeking out Hanson supporters for a chat. Unfortunately, that is not a thing black and brown Australians do, sit down for a cuppa with people who despise them.
  • Feature Article

    Environment groups face fight for their lives

    12 Comments
    Greg Foyster |  By the time polls close Saturday, tens of thousands of voters in marginal seats will have received 'election scorecards' from environment groups. Almost all will rate the Liberal Party worse than Labor or the Greens on a range of issues, from protecting the Great Barrier Reef to encouraging investment in clean energy. Privately, some Liberal candidates will be seething - and, if the Coalition wins, they'll have the means for brutal revenge.
  • The changing face of the law across generations

    Frank Brennan | 25 July 2016

    Cathedral College student Terrence Sullivan and Frank BrennanNext year marks the 50th anniversary of the amendment to the Constitution which took out the adverse references to Aborigines. Following our recent election, we are assured at least six, and possibly seven, members of our national parliament who proudly claim an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander heritage. They are represented in all parties and none. How good it would be if our elected Aboriginal politicians could come together across party lines and propose an amendment to the Constitution which recognises them.

  • Prisoners of their own stories

    Brian Matthews | 25 July 2016

    Primo LeviHolocaust survivor Primo Levi wrote If This is a Man to carry out what he saw as the critical task of bearing witness, and he became one of the greatest writers of the 20th century as he continued to bear witness one way and another in later books. Some day, one of Australia's asylum seekers will, like Levi and with the same sense of dread and horror, tell his or her story to ensure that someone bears witness; and to confirm that all of us are implicated.

  • Hanson supporters must accept world has changed

    13 Comments
    Fatima Measham | 08 July 2016

    Pauline Hanson cartoon by Fiona KatauskasRather than her reprise, it was the appeals for civility that I found more disconcerting. Katharine Murphy, Margo Kingston and Tracey Spicer ran variations of the argument that confronting the things that Hanson and her party stand for would inflate her status (as if getting elected into the senate has not already done that). Kingston suggests seeking out Hanson supporters for a chat. Unfortunately, that is not a thing black and brown Australians do, sit down for a cuppa with people who despise them.

  • Worn and wasted by election day shambles

    3 Comments
    Ellena Savage | 08 July 2016

    Counting ballot papersThe OIC makes a dramatic speech about the integrity of live ballot papers, that there will be no repeat of the Western Australian kerfuffle, that we have our booklets that contain all the answers (and many typos, too). He seems nice. Maybe a little skittish. Not someone I'd imagine would be hired to run an office or manage a kitchen or even wait tables, but he must know what he's doing. This speech is the last demonstration of authority I witness on this day.

  • Yielding and wielding personal information

    5 Comments
    Kate Galloway | 06 July 2016

    Man's silhouette in windowI once knew of a boy whose birth was not registered. His parents believed this would free him from the strictures of the state: his life would be truly private. But it would leave this boy without the trappings of citizenship that we take for granted. Privacy is likely to become something that we can purchase if we have sufficient wealth. Those without enough wealth will be left exposed through both state and corporate surveillance. We will have an 'underclass' without the choice of privacy at all.

  • School walk in German winter

    3 Comments
    Tracy Ryan | 05 July 2016

    xxxxxOur one star has departed. We're wholly dark. The clouds are shedding pretension to friendliness, flake by flake. Which of us guides the other across this glassine surface that blanks every letter, deadening words. Who is that figure, globe-headed, dirndl-skirted, vacant hand-holder. The street-sign makes Mother, her little familiar. When you were born the ground had taken more than a dusting. We were locked in, but not forever. Now you are thirteen, age of reversible prime ...

  • What's next for maybe-PM Malcolm Turnbull

    8 Comments
    John Warhurst | 05 July 2016

    Malcolm TurnbullTurnbull's most pressing decision if he is returned will be what to do with Abbott, whether to bring him back into the ministry or leave him on the backbench with the promise of a future diplomatic posting. He will need to renegotiate the Coalition agreement with the Nationals from a position of weakness and in the context of both these decisions begin to think about what to do with the big issues of climate change, asylum seekers aand same sex marriage. He must not just gird his loins for many tough battles but recognise that the battlelines have been re-set to his disadvantage.

  • What matters after the election is decided

    17 Comments
    Andrew Hamilton | 04 July 2016

    Malcolm TurnbullAfter a plodding election race the stewards have called for a photo. But it looks more likely that Turnbull will be able to form a government. If so, he will need to address the interlocking challenges that we face in order to leave our children a world of possibility. The hope will be muted because both major parties promised little or nothing to address them. But we can take heart that there is certain to be an independently minded senate that can consequently strike down bad policies, and keep asking what kind of an Australia we want.

  • Home is a place that you leave behind

    7 Comments
    Gillian Bouras | 04 July 2016

    House in mistEvery migrant, and every ageing person, loses a home and the past: that is simply the way things are. Fortunate people have the chance to make another home, and to write a series of additional chapters in their personal stories. We look back at the past, but can never revisit it. And would we really want to? We should always be careful what we wish for, as many British people who voted to leave the EU may now well be learning only too painfully.

  • Beyond the myth of the rational voter

    8 Comments
    Fatima Measham | 01 July 2016

    Ballot box in front of Australian flagWhen the democratic exercise is no longer the aggregate of informed, reasoned choices, but a matter of mood, then the business of persuasion - politics - becomes far less about ideas and more about momentary catharsis. This shifts the function of politicians and government, from leading and dispensing equity to masturbatory aid. Even so, there are questions worth asking. But at whose expense are public moods assuaged? After catharsis, what happens next?

  • Environment groups face fight for their lives

    12 Comments
    Greg Foyster | 01 July 2016

    Advocate bound by green tape. Cartoon by Greg FoysterBy the time polls close Saturday, tens of thousands of voters in marginal seats will have received 'election scorecards' from environment groups. Almost all will rate the Liberal Party worse than Labor or the Greens on a range of issues, from protecting the Great Barrier Reef to encouraging investment in clean energy. Privately, some Liberal candidates will be seething - and, if the Coalition wins, they'll have the means for brutal revenge.


Featured Writers

  • Ellena Savage

    Ellena Savage headshot

    "Her mood of weariness, of frustration, and of dark humour becomes an emblem of the election."
     read more

     

  • Fatima Measham

    Fatima Measham headshot

    "Non-Anglo Australians are under no illusion that polite engagement protects them from assault, vandalism and petrol bombs."
     read more

     

  • Frank Brennan

    Frank Brennan headshot

    "I know nothing more about the Aborigines who played a part in the safe arrival and settlement of my forebears. I happily acknowledge my family's debt to them."
     read more

     

  • Justin Glyn

    Justin Glyn

    "Healthy democracies do not stay that way unless they are properly maintained. At some point it is everyone's responsibility to sniff the rot."
     read more

     

  • Kate Galloway

    Kate Galloway

    "Privacy though is likely to become - if it is not already - something for citizens who are rich and powerful."
     read more

     

  • The bleak ballad of Wilson Parking

    11 Comments
    Ellena Savage | 10 June 2016

    Parking garageWhen my friend and I get to the payment station of the car park, it says we owe 70 bucks, which can't be right because we got the early bird special which was a quarter of that, so, nah. We call the parking lot people and they say look at the fine print, it clearly states that the early bird deal only applies if you leave the car park after 3pm. Wilson Parking is a subsidiary of a subcontractor of Transfield Services, which runs security at Nauru and Manus Island. I grow petulant and say I'll wait til 3pm.

  • A cheerfulness of nuns

    10 Comments
    Brian Doyle | 06 July 2016

    nunsI heard many interesting and sad and funny stories from this wonderment of nuns, this intensity of nuns, this insistence of nuns, but the story that stays with me is the nun who talked to me about the 50, count them 50, years she spent as a kindergarten teacher, in four schools, two of them quite rural, one quite urban, and one, she said, in the furthest outskirts of the city, the place where immigrants and migrants and really poor people live, the place where the bus route ends.

  • 'Australian Muslim' is not an oxymoron

    16 Comments
    Somayra Ismailjee | 15 June 2015

    Australian Muslim girlsThere is a particular anatomy to the process of othering. In any context, the formula consists of propaganda, hatred, division, suppression and control. I'm from Perth. Some people would dispute this due to my brown skin and non-Anglo name. But I was born here, and have lived here for my entire life. Still, people like me are too often considered Australian only by law, and not by sociocultural connotation.

  • War-room of a child's mind

    4 Comments
    Belinda Rule | 21 June 2016

    child's hand holding mother'sI saw a younger girl, blonde hair in pink clips, spiral glitter sneaker laces - baubles of a treasured child that no-one ever bought for me. A girl in a parlour painting, and I the hairy spider hulking in the corner. In the war-room of the mind, I pierced my map with pins. How simple to trick her to some dirty culvert, hold her down, mar her white arms ... Civilisation was a hair draped on the head of a pin, each one of us poised, rigid, clutching our own pin still - I could see I would cramp with the effort all my life.

  • Losing and finding Dad in dementia

    13 Comments
    Julie Guirgis | 16 June 2016

    Elderly man, head down in shadowsToday I walked past the bathroom and noticed a pale yellow puddle with an odour worse than an unflushed toilet. I cringed at the stench, with the realisation that I had to wash urine off the floor ... Dad's illness sometimes causes ambiguous loss. It is unclear, has no resolution or closure. He is like someone I don't know anymore; he is gone-but-still-there. This leads to complicated grief. I can't look at him without seeing a fading picture of who he used to be, and speak of him in the past tense.


WEEK IN POLITICS



A brief recess

Staff

After an eventful first half of the year and a seemingly interminable federal election campaign, we here at Eureka Street are going to take a breather for a couple of weeks. It's an opportunity to refresh and reset for the second half of the year. We will have new articles coming your way on 25 July 2016. Stay tuned!


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