Vol 26 No 17

28 August 2016


 

  • ENVIRONMENT

    Australian churches off the pace on clean energy switch

    • Thea Ormerod
    • 08 September 2016
    10 Comments

    With the grip of climate change tightening, few seem to understand the urgency of the crisis. This is why the announcement of over 3500 churches in the UK switching to clean power is so significant. At last, a solution presented by religious communities that matches the scale of the problem. They are providing the kind of leadership for the needed transition to an ecologically sustainable future. Unfortunately, one reason why it is so exciting is that we're nowhere near this in Australia.

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  • RELIGION

    A symbolic solution to the marriage debate

    • Brian Lucas
    • 08 September 2016
    42 Comments

    Marriage, and more broadly any other close domestic relationship, is a fundamental social institution. Could not the federal legislation move away from defining marriage to a regime where it recognises marriage? It could recognise Catholic marriage (as described in the Code of Canon Law). It could recognise Anglican or Jewish or Islamic marriage and it could recognise secular marriage (which could include a same sex relationship). On this basis the various 'marriages' are different but equal.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Valuing the lives of people with disability

    • Joan Hume
    • 07 September 2016
    15 Comments

    On 26 July this year of 19 severely disabled residents were massacred as they slept in their beds at a residential care facility in Sagamihara, Japan. A further 26 were wounded. The perpetrator, Satoshi Uematsu, a former employee sacked for his disturbing views about the residents, later boasted of his 'achievements': 'It is better that disabled people disappear.' Isn't there an ever present probability that without an inclusive and accepting community, without believing in our possibilities rather than seeing only our limitations, we will spawn the likes of another Satoshi Uematsu here?

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  • RELIGION

    Rise of the celebrity pope

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 07 September 2016
    7 Comments

    Popes are politically significant because they lead a large international church that is present in many nations. The teaching, interests and opinions of popes affect the way bishops and priests act, and so influence Catholic attitudes. More recently, popes have also become celebrities. Their influence on public opinion, in wider society and in the Church, is increasingly personal. As a result the way individual popes understand and express their faith will shape the possibilities for their political influence.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Fraught existence of a fantastic family

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 07 September 2016
    2 Comments

    Don't mistake this for an idyll. Incongruently, the youngest child has built a bone shrine to Pol Pot. The father oversees a rigorous physical exercise regime; later he will boast that they have the fitness levels of elite athletes. Yet during a rock climbing expedition, Ben is unsympathetic when one of them injures himself, insisting the boy draw on his personal resources to extricate himself from very real peril.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Chinese Australians are no political wallflowers

    • Tseen Khoo
    • 06 September 2016
    3 Comments

    The Chinese Australian Forum witnessed the traction that One Nation had regained, and the re-emergence of Pauline Hanson as senator. This spurred them to mobilise against the rising prevalence of racist hate-speech against Muslim communities. Informed by previous experiences of One Nation coming to prominence in the 1990s, the CFA launched a #saynotoPauline campaign. It is one example of inter-community collaboration that is crucial in building momentum for broader anti-racist activity.

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  • MEDIA

    Media must go deeper than 'yellow peril' fear-mongering

    • Jarni Blakkarly
    • 06 September 2016
    2 Comments

    China is out to undermine every aspect of the Australian way of life, from our Census to the integrity of our democracy. Any day now the red flag of the Communist Party will be flying over Parliament House in Canberra ... Or so, you'd be forgiven for believing. Chinese fear-mongering has hit a fever-pitch in Australia's media in recent months and the lines between genuine concern and sensationalism is becoming increasingly blurred. How can we make sure journalism keeps level-headed and fair?

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  • CARTOON

    Give and take

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 06 September 2016

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

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  • RELIGION

    Plebiscite the only way forward for Turnbull on marriage equality

    • Frank Brennan
    • 05 September 2016
    23 Comments

    Once Turnbull went to the election with a commitment not to legislate for same sex marriage except after the conduct of a successful plebiscite, it was inevitable that the only way forward to resolving the issue during the life of this parliament would be by enacting legislation to authorise a plebiscite. A conscience vote during the life of this parliament, and without a plebiscite, would leave the opponents of same sex marriage rightly feeling that the government had breached an election commitment.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Anger in the face of despair in Kalgoorlie

    • Kate Galloway
    • 05 September 2016
    5 Comments

    This is the scandalous state of Indigenous affairs in Australia. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their communities literally face a life and death struggle against the state itself. These are not isolated incidents. They represent the intrinsic failure of our society to heed the concerns of communities themselves, and to engage with fellow citizens in a dignified and respectful way. The failure is so grave that state treatment meted out to Indigenous Australians is actively harmful on a large scale.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Moonlight conventions

    • Ross Jackson
    • 05 September 2016
    2 Comments

    I put in my journal: 'a full moon tonight, crisp and splendidly clear for our walk around the shore and back to the resort' ... What did the Israeli professor remark? 'It bodes well on Hoshana Rabbah that we are casting shadows in moonlight.' Though our Chinese friend had little to say following this evening's lecture, he was right about the yellow plum at the bottom of the lake.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    AFL women's league may threaten not boost diversity

    • Erin Riley
    • 04 September 2016
    4 Comments

    The lower wage for players in the AFL women's league has serious equity implications, beyond the clear discrepancy between men's and women's wages. In order to train three times a week, many players will be required to relocate closer to their clubs. This puts their day jobs in jeopardy, meaning only those who can afford to change jobs or take time off can afford to play. This has the potential to seriously skew the playing group towards those who are from higher socio-economic status.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Thoughts of an ambivalent feminist

    • Fatima Measham
    • 04 September 2016
    5 Comments

    Unless feminism abandons its individualistic, secular, western framing of freedom, it cannot presume to liberate all women. Some of its recent concerns give away limitations: whether this politician identifies as feminist, whether child-raising is self-sabotage, whether women abandon autonomy when they take their husband's name. I wonder sometimes whether it is ever possible to talk about sexual exploitation of women in Asia without getting entangled in sex positivity and legal sex work.

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  • EDUCATION

    Students are not the monsters in our universities

    • Ellena Savage
    • 01 September 2016
    6 Comments

    In the golden era, I suppose, only a handful of people, selected for their potential to contribute to certain class formations, went to university. And then there was a shift, and this occurred with the supposedly democratising process of neoliberalisation. But neoliberalisation went a bit far and now we don't know how to tell our students that while they are entitled to real attention from their teachers, a lot of the time their teachers are basically volunteers for the charity called their expensive education.

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  • RELIGION

    Rogue bishop's rebellious example lives on

    • Ann Deslandes
    • 01 September 2016
    19 Comments

    Many Brazilians remember the 'Red Bishop' as much more than a defender of human rights. For these people, Helder Camara is included reverently in the litany of rogues who drew the ire of church and state authorities by demanding both do a better job of embodying a message of social justice. It was a powerful idea to grow up with: that this imposing and defining institution I had been born and baptised into contained a rebellious truth that often demanded we go against the institution's own grain.

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  • RELIGION

    Purifying language vital to renewing 'polluted' churches

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 31 August 2016
    15 Comments

    Dowling, who was a victim of clerical abuse, offers a program of reflections that bring together scriptural themes and the effects of sexual abuse. Most striking is the extraordinary labour required to purify the language of a tradition that has become polluted. This is vital not simply as a therapeutic exercise but as a condition for renewal and reconciliation. It may also be pertinent to wider society, where Brexit and the Trump phenomenon have been characterised by a coarsening of public language.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Britain and Norway's model solution for the Timor Sea

    • Paul Cleary
    • 31 August 2016
    2 Comments

    As Australia and East Timor met overnight at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, the Britain-Norway settlement of the 1960s provides an instructive case study of how to resolve the dispute over oil and gas fields in the Timor Sea. Norway had feared its big neighbour would exploit a deep trench near its coastline and push the boundary beyond halfway. Instead, the Norwegian negotiators were stunned when Britain offered the median line as the starting point for negotiations.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    New adventures in David Brent's theatre of cruelty

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 31 August 2016

    There are hints of darkness behind the laughs. We learn Brent spent time in an institution some time after the original 'documentary' aired. He is shunned by his band members, who see themselves as reluctant employees rather than friends. What emerges is a rather affecting portrait of a man whose self-identity is at total odds with reality, and threatening to come crashing disastrously down.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Plebiscite debate is pure politics

    • John Warhurst
    • 30 August 2016
    17 Comments

    If the plebiscite bill is defeated in parliament Labor, the Greens and Nick Xenophon will bear responsibility for not taking the opportunity offered even if it is in their view a second-best option. The government is already labelling them as same sex marriage wreckers. Yet if before too long a parliamentary alternative, such as a free vote, is found to advance the cause of same sex marriage then the rejection of the plebiscite option will come to be applauded as a master stroke.

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  • CARTOON

    Taxing times

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 30 August 2016
    1 Comment

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

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Price of a plebiscite is too high for LGBTI young people

    • Neve Mahoney
    • 30 August 2016
    28 Comments

    If you're a cisgender straight person, the Irish vote 'no' poster, like 'Children need a mother and father', may not seem like a big deal. You may even agree with it. However, if you're a LGBTI young person who might be going through a process of denial and self-loathing about your sexual orientation or gender identity, it's just another reminder in your daily life that there are people who think you are wrong for being who you are. It's a sign that says you're not welcome or wanted here.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    A common good argument for legalising same sex marriage

    • Alan Hogan
    • 30 August 2016
    17 Comments

    When a traditional marriage breaks down, there is a substantial body of law that has been developed to deal with the consequences. A substantial number of people in the community have already entered into homosexual relationships, monogamous and intended to be permanent. Some will break down, and disputes will arise about matters such as property, maintenance, and access to children. Common law principles are inadequate for settling such disputes fairly and economically.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    History can't absolve Serbia's great demon demagogue

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 29 August 2016
    8 Comments

    In the savage wars of the Balkans during the 1990s, the identification of good sides over bad meant evil had to be singularised, culprits found to galvanise resistance. One such figure was Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic. His death in a Hague cell in March 2006 had the effect of suspending arguments about responsibility from any legal scrutiny. Earlier this month, British journalist Neil Clark suggested he had in fact been exonerated for his role in war crimes and crimes against humanity. He's wrong.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The addict

    • Peta Edmonds
    • 29 August 2016
    1 Comment

    An addict shows me his rack of ribs, he's off to the slaughter house. An addict rubs his face like a brushed potato. The addict searches through bins looking for scraps of himself and his whims. An addict lives in a room at the weaver's loom, peddling his stories and drugs.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The case for pill testing at music festivals

    • Susie Garrard
    • 28 August 2016
    8 Comments

    As tickets go on sale for this year's round of music festivals - Falls, Defqon, Bluefest, Lost Paradise, to name a few - organisers still have no means to counteract unsafe drug use. Recent years have seen an increase in drug related injuries and fatalities at festivals. The debate as to how to counteract this worrying trend is ongoing, and tricky to navigate due its subjective nature. Yet when zero tolerance policies clearly haven't worked, it's time to turn to harm minimisation measures.

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  • EDUCATION

    Teaching boys to respect girls

    • Peter Hosking
    • 28 August 2016
    15 Comments

    Young people flirt and explore sexuality but this should always involve trust, respect and consent. Right relationships rely on trust, and the more sensitive something is then the greater the responsibility we have to protect people's dignity. It is concerning that some young men presume to exercise power so callously. In objectifying others and treating sex as a commodity, they betray the fundamental aspects of good relationships. Young women are not sexual commodities and young men are not entitled to request and circulate these kinds of intimate images.

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