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  • AUSTRALIA

    Best of 2013: It's time to recognise secular same sex marriage

    • Frank Brennan
    • 08 January 2014
    59 Comments

    The US Supreme Court and our newly installed Prime Minister have put their weight behind legal recognition of same sex marriage. In California alone there are already 40,000 children who are being brought up by same sex couples. In this debate we need to be mindful of the wellbeing and dignity of these children as well as the unknown number in future who will be created in a test tube.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Best of 2013: Lament of the 21st century man

    • Michael McVeigh
    • 06 January 2014
    1 Comment

    His body itself is a symbol of his inherited power and privilege. He hears women talk about being afraid to go out at night alone. He sees the great strides women have made in the workforce, yet sits in management meetings where nine out of ten leaders are men. He sees bikini clad women on his television screen and feels guilty at admiring their bodies.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Four poems for Seamus Heaney

    • Various
    • 10 December 2013
    3 Comments

    I was brought up to become a Scottish Protestant boy in exile from the country that was my father's homeland. You grew up to be at home in your history and tongue; my father banned your accent, set me to elocution, as if your speech was my speech-defect. Our history lay elsewhere, even as we were living it.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Mandela crosses the burning water

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 09 December 2013
    13 Comments

    I said my own private goodbye almost two years ago, when I visited Robben Island on a trip back to my homeland of South Africa. That journey across Table Bay, towards the tiny green cell in which you lived for much of your 27-year incarceration, took me not so much to an outpost of apartheid as to the birthplace of democratic South Africa.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Thoughts in the key of Oxford

    • Benedict Coleridge
    • 29 November 2013
    5 Comments

    The woman at the canteen yells 'Urrry up! Speed up! Who dropped that?' A 30 second washing detergent ad prefaces a video you want to watch on YouTube. A homeless man talks to his dog over a sandwich: 'Get lost Chance! It's mine, you've 'ad yours!' Everyday speech tells stories and offers glimpses of things not yet understood, to resurface later alongside other words and verses, fully invested with meaning.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    War fires should be left to smoulder

    • David Stephens
    • 11 November 2013
    12 Comments

    Remembrance Day has always been for Australians a quieter affair than Anzac Day, particularly as Anzac Day in recent years has taken on a brassy, bragging style. The historian Ken Inglis described Anzac as Australia's civil religion. Although we were the first country anywhere to come together under a national constitution after a mass popular vote, we downplay Federation and venerate instead a failed military campaign in Turkey in 1915.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Climate change foes need to adapt

    • Fatima Measham
    • 04 November 2013
    10 Comments

    The bases of our arguments over climate change have been trodden so much that a moat has formed around us, leaving us stuck in our little island fortresses. We know thoroughly by now the content of our disagreement. But what are the things that do not require persuasion? Is it possible that we have values and interests that intersect? Adaptation may be that intersection.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Warm fuzzy flipside to a fidgety control freak

    • Brian Doyle
    • 08 October 2013
    5 Comments

    We did not see eye to eye, yet no one cared more about the work we did. He was subject to fits of temper, and you never met a gentler man. He held grudges, and was the soul of mercy. He was the worst manager I ever saw and the best employee. He had been a quiet drunk and when he realised he'd damage his new children he stopped and never took another sip. Lots of people knew him and no one knew him well.

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  • RELIGION

    Advice for the Pope on reforming the Church

    • Geraldine Doogue
    • 24 September 2013
    35 Comments

    I wish he would invite me to be his temporary consultant, to offer him advice for his next 500 days. I'd begin by proposing a substantial Vatican-led inquiry, into why the Church has been so troubled by sexual abuse across various countries. Then I would point to the experiences of several large secular institutions, including the New York Times and US Army, that have rebuilt after crises.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Treating people well in Abbott's Australia

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 12 September 2013
    40 Comments

    On the asylum seeker issue there is little to be gained in indulging resentment against the Prime Minister and the Coalition except the sour consolations of self-righteousness. The real challenge is to persuade our fellow Australians that each person matters, not because of the choices they make or the qualities they possess, but because they are human, and that a society is measured by the quality of its relationships.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    It's time to recognise secular same sex marriage

    • Frank Brennan
    • 12 July 2013
    97 Comments

    The US Supreme Court and our newly installed Prime Minister have put their weight behind legal recognition of same sex marriage. In California alone there are already 40,000 children who are being brought up by same sex couples. In this debate we need to be mindful of the wellbeing and dignity of these children as well as the unknown number in future who will be created in a test tube.

    READ MORE
  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Lament of the 21st century man

    • Michael McVeigh
    • 10 July 2013
    10 Comments

    His body itself is a symbol of his inherited power and privilege. He hears women talk about being afraid to go out at night alone. He sees the great strides women have made in the workforce, yet sits in management meetings where nine out of ten leaders are men. He sees bikini clad women on his television screen and feels guilty at admiring their bodies.

    READ MORE

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