Vol 26 No 1

17 January 2016


 

  • AUSTRALIA

    Alice Springs is still a contested space

    • Mike Bowden
    • 28 January 2016
    9 Comments

    The Northern Territory News and the ABC reported this month that the Central Australian Affordable Housing Company had been unsuccessful in its tender for continuing tenancy services to the Town Camps of Alice Springs. Despite being a product of the Intervention, CAAHC had developed a powerful model of community housing and had the support of the Central Land Council and the wider Aboriginal community. It appears that these are not attributes the NT government admires.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Ordinary heroes shine on suffering

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 28 January 2016
    9 Comments

    Nobel Laureate Isaac Bashevis Singer often made his characters ask the eternal questions, chiefly Why do we suffer? I can't profess to have any answers to this, except that it is obvious that 'time and chance happeneth to all'. Two examples of such happenings are the huge numbers of ill-fated refugees fleeing Syria and other trouble spots, and the needless death of young Sarah Paino of Hobart, wife and mother, who was killed when a speeding stolen car crashed into hers.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Quietly uncovering a Church scandal

    • Jim McDermott
    • 27 January 2016
    4 Comments

    Not long ago a priest visiting from abroad told me that the story of Spotlight doesn't really apply to his country. 'We don't have that problem here.' It's a comment you get somewhat regularly from some parts of the world. Would that it could only be true. Without a much greater willingness on the part of the institutional Church to let itself be broken and changed by what we have learned since January of 2002, it's more likely a sign of disasters still to come.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The time to look away from abuse crisis has gone

    • Richard Leonard
    • 27 January 2016
    18 Comments

    This is one of the angriest films you will ever see. In the Bible we hear about righteous anger, where God or humanity realises something is so wrong and sinful that 'holy anger' is the first and right response. At its best in the scriptures this anger leads to justice, making things right. Spotlight is an occasion for holy, righteous anger and every adult Catholic should see it.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Friendlier Ghosts of Australia Days Future

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 27 January 2016
    4 Comments

    The two major challenges facing the world have to do with kindness to strangers and care for the natural world. If the image of the beginnings of Australia is of a boatload of powerful Europeans coming to exploit the land occupied by a primitive people, a better image of future Australia Days might be of Australia sending parties to Indigenous settlements and other nations to discover how to cooperate in the great projects of reconciliation between people and people with nature.

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  • MEDIA

    Battered broadcaster's Bolt delusion

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 26 January 2016
    13 Comments

    Josh Bornstein compared the ABC to the victim in an abusive relationship, desperately trying to ward off the next blow by anticipating the criticism of its enemies. Certainly, enlisting Andrew Bolt to participate in a documentary on Indigenous constitutional recognition seems like a pre-emptive defensive move against the accusations of bias that are routinely levelled against the national broadcaster. For Bolt the arrangement is win-win; for the ABC it's yet another example of self-sabotage.

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  • CARTOON

    Selling inclusiveness on Australia Day

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 26 January 2016
    2 Comments

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

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  • MEDIA

    The butterfly effect of online grief

    • Kate Mani
    • 26 January 2016
    2 Comments

    A few months ago, someone I know died. We had only met a couple of times, accepted each other's Facebook friend requests, and messaged each other on and off. But I grew to know him well. His face filled my Facebook newsfeed weekly. Now I see his family's farewells, and the preceding year of photos makes it even easier to picture their grief. Be it the loss of a friend or a city shattered by terror, the 21st century colossus that is social media has reinvented the wheel of commemoration.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Our unfinished business with the First Nations

    • Brian McCoy
    • 25 January 2016
    4 Comments

    Every time I cross Sydney Harbour by train heading to the North Shore I look for the Aboriginal flag that flies from the top of the Jesuits' St Aloysius' College at Milsons Point. It was first raised on 25 January 1988, on the eve of the Australian Bicentenary, to mark the final day, 200 years previously, that Aboriginal people had complete freedom to their lands and customs before the arrival of the First Fleet.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Mixed loyalties don't negate Australianness

    • Irfan Yusuf
    • 24 January 2016
    11 Comments

    I arrived in Australia at the ripe old age of five months. I learned Australian values by a process of gentle osmosis. Many Indigenous Australians learned these values in a less gentle fashion. Today, many Australian Jews show a strong loyalty to the world's only Jewish state. Others combine loyalties with other ancestral homelands. Australian Muslims, Catholics, Buddhists and Hindus have similar broadened loyalties. Exactly how such loyalties make them any less Australian beats me.

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  • RELIGION

    Meeting Pope Francis

    • Frank Brennan
    • 24 January 2016
    22 Comments

    Hailing from Argentina, Francis puts his trust neither in ideological Communism nor in unbridled capitalism. We need to enhance international security, building the rule of law within multilateral organisations, and fostering the climate for investment sensitive to the triple bottom line - economic, social and environmental. I return from Rome grateful that we have a pope prepared to open these questions, accompanied by senior prelates happy to mix it with business and community leaders.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Life in procrastination nation

    • Ellena Savage
    • 21 January 2016
    4 Comments

    Where does this need for punctuality, performance and productivity arise? I don't believe it is rooted so much in 'western culture' as it is in capitalism. There is, after all, time for many kinds of dithering in the literature that charts western society. Socrates could barely tie his own sandals — he'd never make his job network meeting on time. Hamlet is entirely premised on the drama of procrastination: some things, like killing one's paternal uncle who is also the king, seem better fit for tomorrow.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Whose Australia Day?

    • Fatima Measham
    • 21 January 2016
    18 Comments

    Last November I was on a panel at the National Ethnic and Multicultural Broadcasters Council conference, musing about postmodern identities, whether 'ethnics' were mainstream and not peripheral, and whether 'Aussie values' are in fact universal. I enjoyed the discussion, but part of me felt worn. It seemed to me that black and brown folks like us are less concerned about what it means to be Australian than how Australian we would have to be, to be as Australian as everyone else.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Racist Oscars need to lift their game

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 20 January 2016
    2 Comments

    It's less than a year since we lamented the lack of non-white faces among 2015's Oscar nominees. This year the situation is even grimmer, with not one non-white face among 20 nominees for acting awards, despite a raft of clear contenders. It is ironic, because at first glance, concepts of empowerment and inclusion seem to have been at the forefront of Academy members' minds. The theme of bringing marginalised or oppressed groups into the centre, or of restoring power and dignity to vulnerable individuals from whom it has been stripped, run through many of this year's nominated films.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Refugee crisis demands and defies sustained reflection

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 20 January 2016
    7 Comments

    In our response to the forced movement of peoples we must recognise that our national identity is not built primarily on uniformity of religion and race but on adherence to the values that are enshrined in our social institutions. We must also recognise the way in which our own prejudices and fears affect the judgments and proposals we make, and exercise a proper scepticism about making quick judgments and drawing universal conclusions from particular events such as those in Cologne.

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  • EDUCATION

    Preppies' hope cuts through the terror of terrorism

    • Paul Mitchell
    • 19 January 2016
    4 Comments

    Last year, I was my son's main school-day carer. It was a year of which the second half was dominated by acts of terrorism around the world. For the first time I properly registered the fact that there were people on the planet who, given the opportunity, would kill the preppie and me because we didn't want the kind of world they wanted. I started to feel a presence looming over us. It wasn't a pleasant reality with which to engage. Nor, I soon realised, was it any way to live.

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  • CARTOON

    New year, same old story

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 19 January 2016
    1 Comment

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

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  • EDUCATION

    Children without a language

    • Sarah Klenbort
    • 19 January 2016
    15 Comments

    Six years ago my daughter, Kaitlyn, was diagnosed with progressive hearing loss. I was told by an early intervention centre not to sign with her. 'It may interfere with her spoken language development,' they said, though there's no research to support this claim. When she was three, I went against that advice and began studying Auslan. I enrolled my daughter in the bilingual preschool and she learned to sign better than me. She may well be part of the last generation of deaf children to sign in Australia.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Consequences loom for global debt binge

    • David James
    • 18 January 2016
    11 Comments

    Low interest rates tend to change the understanding of risk; having high debt seems to be less of a problem because the cost of servicing it is lower. This cavalier attitude has been especially evident in Australian households, which have racked up more debt relative to the size of the economy than any other country in the world. The massive appetite for debt has been replicated across the globe. The world may have survived the era of casino money - just - but it is now facing another crisis.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The last year

    • Diane Fahey
    • 18 January 2016
    2 Comments

    They'd stopped by then, your half-filled crosswords with their fey surmises — inspired leaps from the backs of routine clues ... I glimpsed alcoves of dusty treasure: kris — 'Malayan dagger'; obi — 'a Japanese sash'; écus — 'old French coins'. You summoned bird names from the air: rhea, erne; had the secrets of ponds and streams at your fingertips: eft, orfe, elver ... 'open', 'small seeds'; six letters. You would have got that.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Australia's bridge-building role in Saudi-Iran dispute

    • Justin Glyn
    • 17 January 2016
    2 Comments

    The US, while backing Saudi Arabia, seems to be increasingly exasperated with how far it has to stick its neck out for its ally. Relationships with Iran, by contrast, have improved recently. The difficulty is that sections within both Iran and Saudi Arabia's governments seem to see a certain short-term interest in tearing the region apart. Australia, which has full diplomatic ties with Iran, a strong trade partnership with Saudi Arabia, and the ear of the US, can play an important diplomatic role.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    We are shaped by how we choose to view violent crimes

    • Lyn Bender
    • 17 January 2016
    18 Comments

    In the early hours of a brand new year, two small boys had their lives extinguished by a purportedly depressed father. For me this event brought to mind two cases from a past life, when I was the manager of Melbourne Lifeline. One was a woman who disclosed that she had killed her two small children a decade earlier. In a second case, a belligerent suicidal man expressed rage towards his former partner, who was about to remarry. I asked pertinent questions. Would he harm his children? 'Yes.'

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