Latest articles

  • Camp Cope
    arts and culture

    Melbourne punks are at the forefront of protest

    • Celeste Liddle
    • 18 December 2018
    1 Comment

    While Melbourne has long been the city of protest, it is also a major global centre for quality protest music. The songs are defiant, political, loud and proud; they're staunch, they're angry, they're educative, they're funny and they demand to be listened to. These local bands are full of women, queer-identifying people, or people of colour.

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  • Frank Brennan (second from left) with (from left) with the Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG; Claire Mallinson, National Director, Amnesty International Australia; Thomas Albrecht, UNHCR Regional Rep; and broadcaster Genevieve Jacobs following a forum at the National Library celebrating the 70th anniversary of the UN Declaration of Human Rights.
    australia

    Religious freedom in secular Australia

    • Frank Brennan
    • 17 December 2018
    9 Comments

    Let's hope all members of parliament can agree to the insertion of such a clause in the legislation providing assurance to religious educators that they can continue to teach their doctrine in good faith while assuring all students and their families that they will not suffer any detriment while sitting at the feet of religious educators.

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  • Senator David Leyonhjelm (Michael Masters/Getty Images)
    australia

    The casual service industry is broken

    • Devana Senanayake
    • 14 December 2018
    1 Comment

    David Leyonhjelm recently thanked men from South Asian backgrounds for delivering his pizza, groceries and online purchases; for rolling up their sleeves for jobs others refused. This gesture is seriously problematic. The casual service industry is broken and exploitative and needs to be carefully regulated and constantly audited.

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  • Frankincense

    Scenes from the Land of Frankincense

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 13 December 2018
    2 Comments

    How delightful to see this country's mosques suffused with the scent of frankincense — not just on celebratory days, but always. And what a surprise it is to find that this place in whose proximity Christianity unfolded smells exactly — precisely — like Christmas.

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  • The migrant caravan crosses into Mexico (John Moore/Getty Images)

    The migrant caravan was born of calamity

    • Ann Deslandes
    • 03 December 2018
    5 Comments

    When government corruption is chronic and the streets are ruled by armed gangs, there are no collective funds for quality health care or education. The thousands of migrants at the US border are fleeing the effects of climate change, wide-scale government corruption, brutal state violence, and flourishing non-state gang rule.

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  • Camilo Catrillanca

    Mapuche murders not just a right-wing issue

    • Ramona Wadi
    • 27 November 2018
    1 Comment

    Catrillanca's killing, like those of other Mapuche murdered by the Chilean state, is not just a question of targeting the indigenous population. It is part of a broader framework that eliminates perceived obstacles to the neoliberal politics espoused by the government and receives tacit support across the political spectrum.

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  • University of Technology Sydney (Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

    Philistine invasion is cringe-worthy indeed

    • Brian Matthews
    • 17 December 2018
    7 Comments

    Simon Birmingham's recent vetoing of 11 humanities research projects is a good example of cultural cringe's transmutation into populist philistinism. Scientific research projects are often more opaque to the uninitiated than humanities projects but are usually safe from ignorant criticism because their importance is assumed.

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  • Amy Thunig and her children opening presents under a Christmas tree.

    Australia's Christmas cognitive dissonance

    • Amy Thunig
    • 13 December 2018
    6 Comments

    I cannot help but think about the level of cognitive dissonance required to believe you hold not only the rights to an entire holiday, but also the moral high ground, all while occupying buildings built on stolen lands. The migration of this celebration to this continent did not happen in isolation from the violence of invasion and colonisation.

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  • Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews (Kelly Defina/Getty Images)

    Confidentiality, Confession and the law

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 12 December 2018
    14 Comments

    Victoria's government has promised legislation to force religious ministers to report information about child sexual abuse received in Confession, and called a royal commission after revelations a lawyer breached the professional duty of confidentiality to clients. The implications of these breaches of confidentiality deserve reflection.

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  • John Lennon and Yoko Ono play music with St Francis of Assisi and Malik-al-Kamil. Cartoon by Chris Johnston

    The saint and the sultan's model for peace

    • Barry Gittins
    • 14 December 2018
    4 Comments

    Next year will mark the 800th anniversary of the future Saint Francis of Assisi's historic meeting with Malik-al-Kamil, the Sultan of Egypt, during the Fifth Crusade. As we hear or sing seasonal songs of peace and harmony, there are some lessons we can learn from that quirky piece of history.

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  • Plenary Council 2020 logo

    Church reform scorecard

    • John Warhurst
    • 11 December 2018
    19 Comments

    Scoring the performance of the Australian church is a complex task at any time. Dioceses and congregations vary enormously. The mission of church agencies continues unabated in education, health, social services and aged care. But by any measure 2018 has been a big year.

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  • Philip Wilson

    Philip Wilson's dead letter day

    • Frank Brennan
    • 07 December 2018
    38 Comments

    The show trial of Archbishop Philip Wilson has backfired badly causing hurt to many people, most especially victims of child sexual abuse who thought the law was being rightly applied to put an errant Catholic bishop in the frame. Section 316 of the New South Wales Crimes Act is a dead letter and it causes nothing but trouble to everyone involved.

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  • Main image: Smoke billowing from pipes (Depositphotos)

    The inequity of this silent killer

    • Cristy Clark
    • 26 November 2018
    11 Comments

    Airborne pollution is an issue of environmental justice, because it disproportionately affects those with the least capacity to move — the poor, the marginalised, and those, such as Indigenous peoples, with a significant relationship to place.

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  • Climate protest in London, sign reading There is no Planet B (Garry Knight/Flickr)

    Extinction Rebellion taking bold action

    • Kate Galloway
    • 21 November 2018
    13 Comments

    The movement is not secretive: it declares itself publicly, and openly. It announced in advance to police and emergency services: 'We are bold. We will not hide. We are all in open rebellion.'     

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  • Rooftop solar installation with Shenzhen downtown skyline view as background, China (Getty)

    Climate change is here, now we need to adapt

    • Cristy Clark
    • 26 October 2018
    7 Comments

    We are already suffering from the effects of global warming and the intensification of extreme weather events, and things are going to get worse. The question now is what we do to both limit the damage and adapt to the inevitable. Fortunately many of the actions that we must take will actually make our lives better.

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  • Christmas pudding

    Christmas through the ages

    • Jenny Blackford
    • 19 December 2018

    At twelve, halfway through too many stifling hours crammed in the Holden station wagon, three girls munch Mum's ham sandwiches in a Rotary park ... At thirty, waifs-and-strays Christmases with friends in our adopted southern city.

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  • Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness

    Modern day hearts of darkness

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 12 December 2018
    13 Comments

    A commentator recently described most politicians as being professional liars, and it can be argued that they tend to deceive themselves as well. Many can be compared with Heart of Darkness's Kurtz, who hid 'in the magnificent folds of his eloquence the barren darkness of his heart'.

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  • Graphic representation of space-time

    Suggestions regarding space and time

    • Robert Whalley
    • 11 December 2018
    3 Comments

    Curve it the way neck curves to shoulders, like the inside of an elbow, like a valley in spring. And send it out like glorious orphan; hovering in the style of infinite with no immediate purpose in mind in the unsubtle audacity of now.

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