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  • AUSTRALIA

    Making Indigenous Literacy Day obsolete

    • Luke Pearson
    • 03 September 2014
    13 Comments

    As a former primary teacher, I have seen the importance of literacy programs for our young people, and the joy and power that comes from learning to read, especially for older students who thought they would never get to read. If schools were given adequate support, resourcing, staffing and training to better cater for the needs and interests of Indigenous students and families, there would hardly be any need to mark Indigenous Literacy Day.  

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Imelda Marcos and the seduction of time

    • Fatima Measham
    • 29 August 2014
    7 Comments

    As the world marks the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearance on August 30, new generations of Filipinos find it hard to grasp what it meant to express dissent when Ferdinand Marcos was president. Some assert that, compared to the current standard of governance and politics, life must have been better under Marcos. Such perceptions are validated when trusted institutions invite Imelda Marcos as guest of honour.

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  • MARGARET DOOLEY AWARD

    Sitting in the doors of the powerful

    • James O'Brien
    • 13 August 2014
    18 Comments

    Religious leaders used methods of non-violent protest to respond to the Federal Government's 'No Way' campaign that aimed to discourage Afghan asylum seekers. Calling their movement 'Love Makes a Way', their strategy started to take shape: sit-ins in the electorate offices of federal parliamentarians, asking that justice may 'roll down like waters'. Nonviolent direct action changes hearts.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Christians and Muslims exchange Middle East kindness

    • Ruby Hamad
    • 01 August 2014
    5 Comments

    As an Arab-Australian it's difficult to watch the events in Syria, Iraq and Gaza without a sense of guilt and shame. To outside eyes, it must appear that the Middle East is driven by hatred and bloodlust. In fact there is a long history of persecuted members of one Middle Eastern faith finding safety in the places of worship of those that are often cast as their enemies. This is the Middle East, at once unconscionably cruel and unbearably kind.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    The truth about Jonathan Moylan

    • Thea Ormerod
    • 30 July 2014
    18 Comments

    I am a grandmother of six, a practising Catholic and for some years was our local Catholic youth group mum. I was drawn to protest actions because other ways of protecting the future for my grandchildren were proving fruitless. Having stayed with the protesters and seen them in action, I have been impressed with their disciplined dedication to an ethic of peaceful non-violence. It is not 'violence' to frustrate mine workers and annoy the police.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Time to take on the welfare sceptics

    • Catherine Magree
    • 29 July 2014
    22 Comments

    Imagine how the quality of the debate would improve if those who blamed the victims of poverty and illness for their plight were publicly labelled welfare sceptics or denialists, and forced to back up their claims. Social research academics would be thrust into the spotlight. If this issue received the scrutiny it deserves in the media there would be a sea change in attitudes to poverty, unemployment and income support over time.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Blood, tears and ethics in Gaza

    • Matthew Beard
    • 25 July 2014
    6 Comments

    This week in the Wall Street Journal, Thane Rosenbaum argued that Palestinian adults are, as a whole, legitimate targets of attack because they were involved in electing Hamas to power eight years ago. There is no need for more blood or tears in Gaza, but there is a strong case to be made for higher ethical standards. Based on the manner in which it is presently being conducted, this war is unjust on both sides.

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  • MEDIA

    What makes a girl beautiful

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 25 July 2014
    8 Comments

    There's something satisfying about subverting society's idea of what constitutes beautiful: female-led campaigns that flood the media with images of representative faces and bodies reinforce the absurdity of current 'beauty' standards. But this isn't really liberating. No longer is it only the physically exquisite who can pose naked; the plain and the imperfect must be welcomed, too, into the sacred circle of female objectification.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Regime change is fashionable this year

    • Les Wicks
    • 03 June 2014

    There are efficiencies in the fictions of right. The glee, that honest toil of looting other lives. Each tumble clears the view, just a bit. Years are nothing, what's rebuilt doesn't work — just as effortlessly as the dirty little system before that so many died to defend. But don't worry, time is a grader. Alongside the quacking of historians all mistakes will be buried under new initiatives.

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  • RELIGION

    Faiths fight forced marriage

    • Ashleigh Green
    • 21 March 2014
    7 Comments

    This week's inauguration of Twiggy Forrest's Global Freedom Network — a large-scale interfaith initiative to end slavery — publicly recognises the importance of interfaith collaboration as a means of understanding and addressing social issues. Its launch comes not long after an Australian-first interfaith forum about the issue of forced marriage. It included Hindus, Buddhists, Christians and Jews, and discovered that forced marriage is not a Muslim issue.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Tony hates lefty shirkers

    • Colleen Keating, Sarah George and Barry Gittins
    • 18 March 2014
    6 Comments

    The PM's poker face flickers like a faulty switch, he comes across as dense or kitsch when he obfuscates and dickers ... Get your righteous on, dear Tony; and feed all the forsaken to your economic Kraken conjured by your faith a'phony, knowing that your right to rule is your equal right to maim, and the discourse runs the same: the worker is a tool.

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  • RELIGION

    Radical Pope's gender flaws

    • Megan Graham
    • 13 March 2014
    47 Comments

    The broad support Francis receives from progressives, despite his unwillingness to even consider female ordination, demonstrates how marginalised women's issues really are in our society. He may have changed the game in terms of the Church's engagement with the poor, but this does not diminish the significance of his oppressive and outdated views on gender roles.

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