Author: Fatima Measham

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  • RELIGION

    My faith is a remnant of empire

    • Fatima Measham
    • 12 September 2018
    7 Comments

    In 1521 Ferdinand Magellan arrived in Cebu, put up a cross and claimed the Philippine islands for Spain. The cross and crown interlock. I grew up conditioned to think religion was a gift. When I moved to Australia, I found a timid Church seemingly more preoccupied with conserving power than speaking truth to it.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Au pair visa saga shows the rot runs deep

    • Fatima Measham
    • 29 August 2018
    10 Comments

    Perhaps we couldn't care less about what happens to an au pair or the person who let her in. But to know that there is rot in the ceiling — embodied in relationships of mutual benefit between those in office and those with money — and still be fine retiring to bed underneath, does not really bode well for anyone.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Tear down Australia's racist wallpaper

    • Fatima Measham
    • 14 August 2018
    20 Comments

    Fraser Anning's speech was heavily criticised, though few who did so bear credibility. Turnbull, Dutton and Tudge can hardly be taken seriously when they invoke multiculturalism. This is how racism works: it displaces focus from material problems to imagined threats.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Cry, the murderous country

    • Fatima Measham
    • 01 August 2018
    16 Comments

    Indifference to human life is what made Australia, and it still permeates its approach to crises. As with many things, Indigenous experience provides the lens with which to see things clearly. First Nations people know the fatal measure of our indifference. It manifests in many other areas too.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Not owning but belonging to the land

    • Fatima Measham
    • 18 July 2018
    7 Comments

    There are severe limitations in the western ways we tend to think about land. Land is conceived in terms of ownership and property — ideas that are implicated not just in colonial histories, but in extractive industries and concentrations of wealth. In this model, land is a fulcrum of power.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Don't bag plastic bans

    • Fatima Measham
    • 04 July 2018
    13 Comments

    We can speculate on the reasons for the recent rage against plastic bag bans. We don't like change. We don't like being told what to do. We don't like having to think about alternatives and solutions. But at the heart of it, being mad about this particular inconvenience is about refusing to accept one's part in improving the collective lot. This is the one planet we have. There is no Plan B.

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  • MEDIA

    Attacks against the ABC are undemocratic

    • Fatima Measham
    • 19 June 2018
    20 Comments

    There is political hay to be made in convincing the right that the ABC has a leftward bias. The strategy counts on short memories. When Labor was in power, it would routinely complain that, in being too stringent with government, the ABC was aiding the Coalition. This only suggests that the ABC does its job, no matter who is in charge.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    ANU right to be wary of 'supremacist' centre

    • Fatima Measham
    • 06 June 2018
    60 Comments

    The Ramsay Centre was an agenda-laden venture at the outset. It has now been left hanging after ANU withdrew from negotiations, with Vice-Chancellor Brian Schmidt saying that a difference of vision led to the decision. The Ramsay Centre's focus on western 'civilisation' was never neutral to begin with. The people involved gives that away.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Must we remain so exceptionally cruel?

    • Fatima Measham
    • 23 May 2018
    3 Comments

    These are people living precariously: pregnant women, families with young children, elderly people. They are being 'transitioned out' of Status Resolution Support Services based on 'job-readiness'. The move not only illustrates the arbitrary nature of immigration policy, which sets people up to fail; it is institutionalised sadism.

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  • EDUCATION

    Students need teachers, not technicians

    • Fatima Measham
    • 09 May 2018
    8 Comments

    For the past several years, education has been treated as solely a technical problem. One of the pitfalls of this is that political will becomes a function of money, which in turn rests on political expedience between federal and state governments, further complicated by external lobbying. Education gets ground to a grain.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    A parent's guide to pop culture diversity

    • Fatima Measham
    • 25 April 2018
    3 Comments

    The moment in Power Rangers when Cam Watanabe turned into the Green Samurai, I looked at my son's face and could sense what it meant to him. Pop culture validates or marginalises, depending on who is in the frame. Who gets to be seen and heard, and under what circumstances, are political decisions, whether consciously or not.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The radical state of being content

    • Fatima Measham
    • 11 April 2018
    10 Comments

    How comfortable does anyone really need to be? The amounts of money that get quoted in remuneration packages or property portfolios is incomprehensible to many Australians who manage to survive, even thrive, on so much less. Inequality seems to be driven by an incapacity to recognise what is enough and to stop.

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