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  • The spirit of Redfern's Ted Kennedy a decade on

    • Frank Brennan
    • 24 May 2015
    7 Comments

    There are many things different from Ted's day, but he would have spoken of them without fear or compromise. A pope from the South who asks 'Who am I to judge?'; a 62 per cent Irish people's vote in favour of expanding the definition of civil marriage;  the long awaited beatification of Oscar Romero whose identification with the poor did not win immediate Vatican approval; the call by civic leaders for an Australian cardinal to return home and answer questions posed by a royal commission; and the election of a black US president.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Xenophobia threatens Mandela's vision for a diverse South Africa

    • David Holdcroft
    • 19 May 2015
    3 Comments

    South Africa has again experienced the ravages of xenophobic violence. The official response reflects a fearful government that needs to resort populist scapegoating that stigmatises migrants. It has found itself incapable of creating the inclusive narrative that was evident 18 months ago when the country came together to mourn Nelson Mandela. 

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  • CONTRIBUTORS

    Child care in reverse follows Dad's health emergency

    • Barry Gittins
    • 14 May 2015
    6 Comments

    A belated early April referral to the urologist led to an alarming ultrasound and a blunt instruction to head for the nearby emergency triage. My bladder was a water balloon waiting to go splat. When the kids and their Ma picked me up from emergency, Emily stood guard over her Dad while the others got the car. The kids helped Trude with cleaning and chores as school holidays beckoned and my body needed time to reset before surgery was advisable.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Politics beckon, we're better off dead than alive on Nauru or Manus

    • Barry Gittins
    • 04 May 2015
    2 Comments

    Anglo-Saxons and Germans and Dutch and the Frisians all saw ‘the evil’ as inferior breeding. When you’re tagged as ‘bad’ or evil it seems you’re guilty of dreaming non-tribal dreams. The African-American ‘n-word’, ‘bad nigger’ was tribal rejection by white folks de rigueur.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Australia's friendship with Indonesia is bruised but should not break

    • Emily Mitchell
    • 30 April 2015
    13 Comments

    Today, the relationship between Indonesia and Australia — the 'most important relationship' espoused by our Prime Minister — is aching. People are saying we must boycott Bali, that we must not go to Indonesia. While I understand these sentiments, I do not think this is the answer. To stay within our borders would only maintain the status quo. Instead we must embrace our neighbours and rekindle our friendship.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Ukraine conflict heightens global economic split

    • David James
    • 27 April 2015
    2 Comments

    The conflict in the Ukraine has attracted a great deal of attention for its geo-strategic implications. Less noticed have been the economic implications. The sanctions placed on Russia have forced Russia to become even closer to China, and the alliance between a military superpower and an economic superpower is beginning to split the global economy in two. It may come to represent the biggest geo-economic and geo-political shift of the first half of this century, defining much of the future landscape.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Protestant and Catholic corruption in 1971 Belfast

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 25 March 2015
    2 Comments

    At the height of the Troubles in Belfast, a young British soldier becomes separated from his unit and spends a night lost in one of the city's most dangerous locales. The city is fractured along numerous lines: it's not merely Catholic versus Protestant; the radicalised youths of the Provisional IRA are at odds with their established forebears. Rarely have the Troubles been so grippingly portrayed.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    In memory of Leo

    • Diane Fahey
    • 23 March 2015
    8 Comments

    'If I'm deported back to Sri Lanka, torture is certain because I'm a Tamil.' On the day I hear of Leo's death I pass a tall maple, its star-like leaves, blood-red and flame-red, irradiated. The Australian government refused the visas applied for by Leo's family so that they might attend his funeral. As three Tamil men at a microphone sing a long hymn in Tamil the Basilica fills with an undertow of sound.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    In love with Sooty

    • Peta Edmonds
    • 17 March 2015
    10 Comments

    She waits for me to get home at night. She meows at the door, and when I return gets under my feet. Sooty has been one of the best things to come into my life. I get entranced by her eyes, and I'm in love with her softness. Now I don't talk to myself, I talk to her. One week, when I was so poor, I spent the last of my money on her, on cat toys and a can of cat food and chicken drumsticks.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The dark side of a migrant's American Dream

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 04 March 2015

    Abel's life is pointedly contrasted with Peter's, a young truck driver who has been the victim of several violent assaults on the job. Peter idolises Abel, for whom the Dream has apparently come true — if Abel can make it, so too can Peter. The problem is that Abel's Dream stands on the backs of ordinary workers like Peter. Peter is a tragic antihero coming to learn that for many, the Dream will remain just that.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Helen Garner's 'Best Essays' triumph

    • Barry Gittins and Jen Vuk
    • 12 February 2015

    The Best Australian Essays 2014 finely illustrates the unnervingly unclear line between essay and short story, but no-one plays with form quite like the indomitable Helen Garner. She offers such a brooding, aching ode to her mother. Proof again that good writing is an inexorable, spiritual exercise that seers itself into the reader's memory. How does she do it?

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Palaszczuk shows Abbott how it's done

    • Moira Rayner
    • 02 February 2015
    18 Comments

    Queensland’s new premier is a plain-spoken, modest woman with a ‘foreign’ name. She was triumphant after the self-confident three year reign of Campbell Newman. Tony Abbott also did his bit for the Queensland result, as a man of power who characteristically overreaches and is yet to learn the lesson that the right to rule has to be earned, every day, from the people.   

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