Search Results: welfare

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Reflect and connect to give peace a chance

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 23 September 2015
    3 Comments

    This year's International Day of Peace comes amid much war-making. Those with a feel for history may see it as an echo of an idealistic age that had experienced years of war and was determined to shape a better world. To those caught in fear and violence, and promised another ten years of the same, it will come as an insinuating hope against hope; a reproach to a world that stirs rather than douses wars.

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  • Reshaping the public space: Lessons for Australian refugee, Aboriginal and climate policy

    • Frank Brennan
    • 17 September 2015

    Pope Francis's concerns are not narrowly dogmatic or pedagogical but universally pastoral. He knows that millions of people, including erstwhile Catholics, are now suspicious of or not helped by notions of tradition, authority, ritual and community when it comes to their own spiritual growth which is now more individual and eclectic. He wants to step beyond the Church's perceived lack of authenticity and its moral focus on individual matters, more often than not, sexual. He thinks the world is in a mess particularly with the state of the planet — climate change, loss of biodiversity and water shortages, but also with the oppression of the poor whose life basics are not assured by the operation of the free market, and with the clutter and violence of lives which are cheated the opportunity for interior peace. He is going to great pains to demystify his office. He wants all people of good will to emulate him and to be both joyful and troubled as they wrestle with the probl

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Asylum seekers are people like us

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 10 September 2015
    2 Comments

    Some refugee advocates will almost deify the refugee, and take away their humanity by making it seem that the refugee is always right. In reality refugees make bad decisions, tell lies and exaggerate, just like the rest of us. But that does not mean they're contemptible. Recognising their humanity makes it easier to feel empathy with them, and less likely we will fear them. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Family rape victims delivered to a worse hell

    • Madeleine Hamilton
    • 06 September 2015
    8 Comments

    While at Melbourne's Winlaton Youth Training Centre, many became victims of sexual and physical assaults by staff and other girls. This was how the state of Victoria looked after its most vulnerable girls, who following their incarceration were simply expected to get on with their lives. Except many didn't. As the list of witnesses for the Royal Commission hearing was being finalised, I was told: 'There's going to be a lot of very angry and re-traumatised mothers and grandmothers.'

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australian Border Force cuts through the fence of law and due process

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 02 September 2015
    6 Comments

    Last week the Reform Summit and the Australian Border Force's aborted Operation Fortitude were responses to the the perceived paralysis in Australian politics and public life. The Summit was a commendable initiative demonstrating that organisations with diverging agendas can talk together and reach consensus. It offered a chastening example to the political parties that currently emphasise their areas of disagreement and prefer to smash through — rather than think through — the obstacles to Australia’s prosperity.

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  • The politics of popular evil and untrendy truth

    • Frank Brennan
    • 31 August 2015
    1 Comment

    If you want to form government in Australia and if you want to lead the Australian people to be more generous, making more places available for refugees to resettle permanently in Australia, you first have to stop the boats. If you want to restore some equity to the means of choosing only some tens of thousands of refugees per annum for permanent residence in Australia from the tens of millions of people displaced in the world, you need to secure the borders. The untrendy truth is that not all asylum seekers have the right to enter Australia but that those who are in direct flight from persecution whether that be in Sri Lanka or Indonesia do, and that it is possible fairly readily (and even on the high seas) to draw a distinction between those in direct flight and those engaged in secondary movement understandably dissatisfied with the level of protection and the transparency of processing in transit countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia. The popular evil is that political

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Francis' day to pray underlines priority for environment

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 30 August 2015
    5 Comments

    Pope Francis has named 1 September as the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. There are many such days, and it will pass unnoticed in many local churches. But his naming of it - and its reception - will reveal much about the style with which he chooses to address environmental degradation, throwing his weight behind the Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who had previously consecrated the day to the Environment.

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  • RELIGION

    Religion in the state school curriculum

    • Kevin Donnelly
    • 30 August 2015
    23 Comments

    Various state based legislation argues that education in government schools should be secular in nature, but it does not rule out a place for religion in the general curriculum. To argue that religions should have a greater place in the school curriculum is not to proselytise. Rather it is to recognise that, while we are a secular society,  students need to encounter a more transcendent sense of life that incorporates a strong moral, spiritual and ethical dimension.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What's an older person's life worth?

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 23 August 2015
    12 Comments

    NT Health Minister John Elferink recently argued that the money spend on the health of the elderly — a million dollars for each person — would be better spent on children. Many Australian politicians and health administrators would secretly sympathise. But underlying this is the twin assumption that the life of an older person is of less value than that of someone who is younger, and that people’s value is measured by their economic contribution.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Silence won't make abuse go away

    • James Fry
    • 18 August 2015
    6 Comments

    We tell victims of of crimes including bullying, domestic violence and child abuse, that help will come their way if they are prepared to speak up. But on several occasions, I spoke to those responsible for my welfare and safety, only to have such pleas ignored. For others it can be worse, with Child Abuse Royal Commission revealing victims being blamed for the crimes against them, and sometimes being delivered into the hands of other pedophiles.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Politicians' cognitive dissonance over blaming the system

    • Fatima Measham
    • 10 August 2015
    12 Comments

    Words like rorter, bludger and leaner only ever seem to apply to those who apply for welfare. A politician who draws down unreasonably on entitlements or a banker who earns stratospheric bonuses are seen as passive beneficiaries of the system. It seems the case that only those with power or capital are allowed to blame systems. The rest of us get to be individuals who make choices.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Rich retirees may need the aged pension

    • David James
    • 30 July 2015
    6 Comments

    There has been great pressure on both of the major political parties to stop giving so-called rich retirees partial pension income. The conventional view has become that retired millionaires should not be feeding off the public teat. But in terms of income, many of those 'rich retirees' would actually be better off on the pension.

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