Vol 25 No 17

31 August 2015


 

  • MEDIA

    Images the catalyst for action but not change

    • Ellena Savage
    • 11 September 2015

    There are few activities more unsettling than viewing the bodies of deceased children. But I'm not convinced that visual tokens of suffering, shared within safe, affluent settings, change much. A photo can suggest that a woman is abused by her partner and motivate people to donate money to a charity. But it won't make anybody voluntarily give up the privilege that fostered the pain.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    A moment of compassion and solidarity that nurtures hope

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 11 September 2015
    16 Comments

    A fortnight ago political conversation about asylum seekers had to do with turning back the boats, the links between terrorism and religious identity, exporting our Stop the Boats policy to Europe, the seductive dangers of compassion, and attempts to wedge other parties on the basis of their softness. Now it appears we have moved on, and for that Mr Abbott deserves our ungrudging gratitude, whatever side of politics we stand on.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Asylum seekers are people like us

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 11 September 2015
    2 Comments

    Some refugee advocates will almost deify the refugee, and take away their humanity by making it seem that the refugee is always right. In reality refugees make bad decisions, tell lies and exaggerate, just like the rest of us. But that does not mean they're contemptible. Recognising their humanity makes it easier to feel empathy with them, and less likely we will fear them. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The amazing grace of Joan Baez

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 10 September 2015
    4 Comments

    Folk legend and renowned human rights activist Joan Baez's fire hasn't dimmed. Today she rages at the 'disgusting' state of race relations in America — 'police violence, mass arrests of people of colour, torture in prisons' — half a century on from the Selma civil rights marches, in which she took part. Yet amid these horrors, Baez still finds herself able to be moved by examples of 'amazing grace'.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Bishops' statement challenges politicians' hard hearts

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 10 September 2015
    9 Comments

    The Australian Bishops' 2015 Social Justice Statement on justice for refugees and asylum seekers comes at the right time. It is not likely to receive enthusiastic support from the Government. The Bishops set the tone of their statement with a quote from Pope Francis' uncompromising Lampedusa sermon. Like him, their priority is 'what it takes'.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    It’s time Mr Heydon was taken to court

    • Frank Brennan
    • 09 September 2015
    7 Comments

    Senator Penny Wong moved a motion requesting the Governor-General to sack Dyson Heydon from the unions royal commission. This is a disgrace. It evokes memories of Governor General John Kerr sacking Prime Minister Gough Whitlam almost 40 years ago. The unions must appeal Heydon's decision to the courts, or abide by the umpire's decision.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Syrian refugee settlement in Australia must be permanent

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 09 September 2015
    8 Comments

    The Kosovar solution is not a good one. In 1999, 4000 Kosovars were brought to Australia on a TSHV initially for three months but what turned out being several years. Legislative bars were created to prevent them from applying for any other visa whilst here, including protection visas. If we just hand out temporary visas to the Syrians, they will be in limbo and their ability to resettle and contribute to their new country is diminished.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Why calls for compassion for refugees don't work

    • Tim Robertson
    • 09 September 2015
    3 Comments

    Writing in The Australian this week, Chris Kenny declares: 'Emotion, moral vanity, political posturing and good intentions won't be much of a guide when it comes to making the right decisions and delivering the best results'. He and like minded opinion writers get so much traction because they're essentially correct. Compassion alone is not enough.

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  • CARTOON

    Compassion, Australian-style

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 09 September 2015
    5 Comments

    View this week's offering from Eureka Street's award winning political cartoonist.

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  • EUREKA STREET TV

    Education needed to overcome media superficiality

    • Peter Kirkwood
    • 09 September 2015
    1 Comment

    Last week's image of Aylan Kurdi was emblematic of a range of current social crises: religious and ethnic conflict, discrimination and inequality, terrorism, the plight of migrants and refugees. Western Sydney University Humanities lecturer James Arvanitakis sees education as the key to grappling with them beyond the knee-jerk response to the disturbing images.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Flowers react to Spring

    • Chris Wallace-Crabbe and Les Wicks
    • 08 September 2015
    2 Comments

    Big daisies bulge on their bush, the lurid cyclamens are crouched in squeals of shocking pink, but raggedy scarlet geraniums have been out all winter and don’t give a stuff.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The emptiness of reform rhetoric in Australian politics

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 08 September 2015
    4 Comments

    The recent National Reform Summit was lauded as an attempt to 'rediscover the art of reform that in the past generation helped to drive high living standards and made Australia the envy among smart nations'. Yet the urgency with which Australian pundits demand 'reform' corresponds with a peculiar opacity about what the term actually means, with its past association with the socialist movement but more recent appropriation as a neoliberal mantra. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Operation Fortitude aftershocks

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 07 September 2015
    9 Comments

    Actions taken in the Immigration Detention Centre after the 28 August aborted Border Force operation involved the use of force and intimidation on people who are being detained. Not for their misdeeds or any threat they pose, but for the convenience of the Department. And they disclose what happens when ABF officers are permitted to to use any force they think necessary without proper accountability.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Family rape victims delivered to a worse hell

    • Madeleine Hamilton
    • 07 September 2015
    8 Comments

    While at Melbourne's Winlaton Youth Training Centre, many became victims of sexual and physical assaults by staff and other girls. This was how the state of Victoria looked after its most vulnerable girls, who following their incarceration were simply expected to get on with their lives. Except many didn't. As the list of witnesses for the Royal Commission hearing was being finalised, I was told: 'There's going to be a lot of very angry and re-traumatised mothers and grandmothers.'

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Border Force Keystone Cops no laughing matter

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 04 September 2015
    18 Comments

    While we can shake our heads and laugh at last week's farce in Melbourne, we should be more concerned about the many ways this government is punishing refugees in the law, using language to demonise people and and setting up systems geared to rejecting applications. We don't need black uniforms and guns, or any form of militarisation and politicisation of Immigration.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The seven Dadly sins

    • Barry Gittins
    • 04 September 2015
    7 Comments

    As Father's Day looms, I embrace zen introspection. My beloved Keeper and I have two offspring, a daughter — a sweetheart aged 12, turning 30 — and a son — boisterously nine. Life changed unrecognisably with their arrival, and overwhelmingly for the better. This Sunday I will join the ranks of sleepy paters, gingerly drinking dubious coffee, eyeing off culinary abominations and graciously acknowledging new socks.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australian Border Force cuts through the fence of law and due process

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 03 September 2015
    6 Comments

    Last week the Reform Summit and the Australian Border Force's aborted Operation Fortitude were responses to the the perceived paralysis in Australian politics and public life. The Summit was a commendable initiative demonstrating that organisations with diverging agendas can talk together and reach consensus. It offered a chastening example to the political parties that currently emphasise their areas of disagreement and prefer to smash through — rather than think through — the obstacles to Australia’s prosperity.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Spiritual enlightenment on the transplant waitlist

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 03 September 2015
    1 Comment

    In part, these hallucinogenic, metaphysical digressions are a product of Robert's medically-altered state of consciousness. Chemotherapy brings a sense of disorientation, which often leads patients' minds to wander in directions they wouldn't have otherwise. Through this, Robert discovers an Eastern spiritual and cultural approach to death that informs his own confrontation of mortality.

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  • CARTOON

    On with the show

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 02 September 2015
    6 Comments

    View this week's offering from Eureka Street's award winning political cartoonist.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Traditional marriage needs fixing

    • Gail Grossman Freyne
    • 02 September 2015
    20 Comments

    Traditional marriage is on very shaky ground because we are continually trying to extract equality out of inequality. While parenting and housework are the essence of family life, her caring work within the home is not considered of primary value. Feminism confronts not only sexism but also racism and classism, indeed, the interweaving of all forms of oppression. Marriage changes its shape as we change our culture — and we are.  

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Remembering Veronica Brady

    • Morag Fraser
    • 02 September 2015
    8 Comments

    Veronica was one of Phillip Adams' 'favourite Catholics'. He likes larrikins, mavericks, with a mind of their own. Last week I sat in my car and listened to the replay of an interview Phillip did with Veronica some years back. I could not predict what she was going to say next, even as I recognised certain characteristic speech habits. There is the touch of the nun-teacher there, but don't mistake it for complacency.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Untangling Abbott from Santamaria

    • John Warhurst
    • 01 September 2015
    18 Comments

    There is always an appetite for anything linking Tony Abbott and Bob Santamaria. The journalist in Abbott has encouraged observers to play up the links, even though it has never been entirely clear  what he is saying. He has explained that he was impressed as a young man by Santamaria’s courage as an 'advocate for unfashionable truths’, but he also pays his public dues to a number of prominent figures including John Howard, Cardinal George Pell, John Hewson, Bronwyn Bishop and even Pope Benedict XVI.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Redesign my soul

    • Rodney Wetherell
    • 01 September 2015
    4 Comments

    My soul's antennae are TV-tested for searching power, speed, vibrations — sluggishness is found, and some corrosion, but not a power of deep delusion. I pass, but barely — could do better. Empathy is down, the next test finds, neighbours more passed by than loved. And do I love myself?

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Francis' day to pray underlines priority for environment

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 31 August 2015
    5 Comments

    Pope Francis has named 1 September as the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. There are many such days, and it will pass unnoticed in many local churches. But his naming of it - and its reception - will reveal much about the style with which he chooses to address environmental degradation, throwing his weight behind the Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who had previously consecrated the day to the Environment.

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  • RELIGION

    Religion in the state school curriculum

    • Kevin Donnelly
    • 31 August 2015
    23 Comments

    Various state based legislation argues that education in government schools should be secular in nature, but it does not rule out a place for religion in the general curriculum. To argue that religions should have a greater place in the school curriculum is not to proselytise. Rather it is to recognise that, while we are a secular society,  students need to encounter a more transcendent sense of life that incorporates a strong moral, spiritual and ethical dimension.

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