Search Results: welfare

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Dickensian England lives on in Australia

    • Kate Galloway
    • 25 August 2016
    15 Comments

    Oliver Twist is still used to aid understanding of the trauma arising from poverty, and the suffering of children at the hands of individuals and within institutional settings. In broader Australian society we assume Dickensian attitudes to children have evolved. Aligned with the sentiments behind child protection, society's image of children and childhood is idyllic. Yet beneath this veneer lies a substratum of deeply ambivalent, even malevolent, attitudes towards children with a distinctly Dickensian flavour.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Dollars trump humanity in NSW public land purge

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 17 August 2016
    6 Comments

    The Brutalist building - so ugly when I first saw it, now a familiar milestone on the journey into the city - has been condemned to an undignified death; soon it will be demolished, a luxury apartment building erected in its stead. The long-term residents have packed their meagre belongings and gone (though not without a fight). Such is the pattern of progress in New South Wales, under a government that has no compunction in selling public land to the person whose wallet is the fattest.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Environmentalists' potential allies on the populist right

    • Greg Foyster
    • 02 August 2016
    6 Comments

    The neoliberal right is losing political power to the populist right, which isn't filled with the same ideological zeal for free-market capitalism. Suddenly debates can expand beyond the narrow confines of economic growth. Moral and social arguments won't be relegated to the intellectual fringes anymore. Mainstream parties of the left and right, both of which bought into the neoliberal agenda, will have to break their bipartisan dismissal of discontent with the side effects of globalisation.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Religion and violence in Australian-Indigenous history

    • Frank Brennan
    • 26 July 2016
    2 Comments

    The violence at the pastoral frontier of the British colonies here in Australia was all pervasive. 228 years after it commenced, we are still experiencing the after-effects. When I started advocating Aboriginal rights here in Australia almost 40 years ago, the prevailing wisdom was that the missions and missionaries were all bad news. It will come as no surprise that I have always doubted that Aborigines were well rid of religion and the missionaries in all circumstances.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Beyond the myth of the rational voter

    • Fatima Measham
    • 30 June 2016
    8 Comments

    When the democratic exercise is no longer the aggregate of informed, reasoned choices, but a matter of mood, then the business of persuasion - politics - becomes far less about ideas and more about momentary catharsis. This shifts the function of politicians and government, from leading and dispensing equity to masturbatory aid. Even so, there are questions worth asking. But at whose expense are public moods assuaged? After catharsis, what happens next?

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  • AUSTRALIA

    No 'one size fits all' solutions to youth unemployment

    • Julie Edwards
    • 26 June 2016
    9 Comments

    Both major parties offer 'one size fits all' approaches to youth unemployment. This ignores the huge difference in experiences - and employability - between different categories of young person. Not all have completed high school and live at home in a supportive environment. For young people at risk of homelessness, those experiencing mental illness or substance abuse problems, or those who have had contact with the criminal justice system, the initiatives of both parties simply won't be effective.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Prognosis negative as election health debate stagnates

    • Melissa Sweet
    • 13 June 2016
    6 Comments

    When politicians and journalists speak about 'health' in an election context, they invariably are referring to healthcare, and usually hospitals at that. However, the health of individuals and communities is the result of many factors, of which access to healthcare is just one determinant. Climate change - the defining issue for public health this century, according to the World Health Organization's outgoing director general Dr Margaret Chan - barely figures in election health debate.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The moral conundrum of casting a vote on 2 July

    • Frank Brennan
    • 09 June 2016
    46 Comments

    Sadly, the major political parties have forfeited any claim to govern in their own right because they have caused such disillusionment among so many voters about other policy issues with strong moral overtones. Any voter impressed with Pope Francis' encyclical Laudato Si' or inspired by his visits to asylum seekers on the islands of Lampedusa and Lesbos could not blithely vote for either of the major parties, without first determining how to place some continuing political and moral pressure on them.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What lies beneath election campaign ethical silences

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 08 June 2016
    10 Comments

    Election times are full of sound and fury, much of it broadcast on a loop. But they are also marked by silences. These silences indicate concealed perils in society. Asylum seekers and young Indigenous people are spoken about, often noisily, but always as the object of policy, not as people whose lives have been blighted by policy. The human beings who suffer are shrouded in silence. This silence is an ethical silence that covers people whom we want to keep out of mind.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia's little sepia book of dead political tricks

    • Bronwyn Lay
    • 05 June 2016
    26 Comments

    Living within the United Nations community I've witnessed Australia fall from a well-respected international citizen, to becoming the spoilt, sneaky brat of international relations. Even the most blasé glance at the geo political currents moving through the planet reveal complexities this election pretends don't exist. Australians fighting about jobs and growth in the corner comes across as deeply deluded isolationism. The Great Barrier Reef is dying. The world is watching. Hello Australia? Anybody home?

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Foster kid finds healing in the New Zealand wilderness

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 01 June 2016
    2 Comments

    It's the last chance for Ricky, who has been through a lot of other foster homes before winding up at Bella and Hector's. We don't know the detail of these experiences, but it is telling that the natural nurturer Bella's smallest gestures - cooking breakfast for Ricky, or putting a hot water bottle in his bed at night - are kindnesses like none he has ever known. It contrasts with the child welfare worker''s mantra of 'No child left behind', which on her lips becomes menacing, or at best a bureaucratic inanity.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Reflecting on justice for asylum seekers during an election campaign

    • Frank Brennan
    • 29 May 2016
    5 Comments

    'Being in the middle of an election campaign, I will not be making any partisan party political points. However being here in the bellwether seat of Eden-Monaro, I will conclude with a critique of both major political parties, and with one piece of political advice for citizens of goodwill seeking a national asylum policy more in harmony with the ideals set out by our bishops in their social justice statement.' Yass Catholic Parish Potluck Dinner, 28 May 2016

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