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  • AUSTRALIA

    China's cupcakes and Australia's Asia fear

    • Michael Kelly
    • 31 October 2012
    8 Comments

    Looking at Australia from Asia, you quickly conclude that Australian approaches to the region are fickle and opportunistic. It's hardly news that the fastest growing economies and greatest opportunities for Australia are at our doorstep. But like kids at parties, we seem to focus more on the cup cakes than the host and guest of honour.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Historical precedents for Jones' Shamegate

    • Brian Matthews
    • 12 October 2012
    10 Comments

    The name Charles Hughes Cousens is not one that has been canvassed during the lamentable and often tawdry debate about the Alan Jones affair, but perhaps it should have been. Cousens' ordeal as the target of a treason-baying press lies in the distant but pointed background to Jones' assault on Julia Gillard.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Mysticism and the Beatles

    • Philip Harvey
    • 11 October 2012
    6 Comments

    It has never seemed just an accident that John Lennon and Paul McCartney first met at a church fete. The broad message of Christianity is at the very front of the lyric concerns of the Beatles, even if Christianity itself is rarely acknowledged. In art and belief, they were never interested in experimentation for its own sake but in how to make something new out of something old.

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  • RELIGION

    Relic rumination

    • Frank Brennan
    • 27 September 2012
    5 Comments

    'We do not stay focused on a moribund, severed arm. Rather we remember that Francis with this arm always pointed towards Christ, and always embraced all before him, especially the poorest of the poor.' Fr Frank Brennan SJ's address at St Christopher's Cathedral, Canberra, for the visit of the Relic of St Francis Xavier.

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  • RELIGION

    Seeking a more ethical way to stop the boats and deaths at sea

    • Frank Brennan
    • 14 September 2012
    4 Comments

    In the lead up to the election, Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison are sure to continue insisting that the Gillard Government's Pacific Solution Mark II will not work. In all probability this will undermine the efficacy of the Gillard Solution in stopping the boats. Read the full text of Fr Frank Brennan's address to the Migration Institute of Australia, Menzies Hotel, Sydney, 14 September 2012 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia's nebulous borders

    • Brian Toohey
    • 04 September 2012
    3 Comments

    Looking at a map of the Australian coastline gives no clue about how far Australia's territorial claims extend. As a result, Australian policy makers aren't eager to embrace suggestions that Asian countries disputing possession of small islands and rocky outcrops should resolve their differences by assigning ownership to the closest country.

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  • RELIGION

    There is an ethical way to stop the boats

    • Frank Brennan
    • 23 August 2012
    11 Comments

    Behind all the legal technicalities and political argument about boat people, there is room for deeper ethical reflection and a more principled proposal. But first, to clear away some of the debris.

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  • RELIGION

    Malaysia solution is not there yet

    • Frank Brennan
    • 10 August 2012
    9 Comments

    Next week Parliament reconvenes; meanwhile the boats keep coming. Chris Bowen will be armed with a report from an expert panel that has been hearing from the community. We're still awaiting an answer on unaccompanied minors under the Malaysia solution. Until one is provided no one in good conscience can give it the tick.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What's the point of the Olympics?

    • Fatima Measham
    • 01 August 2012
    16 Comments

    The games are an escapist spectacle, where the flags of Iran, Palestine and Syria flutter without irony alongside those of the US, Israel and Turkey, and delegates from Spain and Greece wave as if their nation's economies have not fractured the Eurozone. The dissonance between the games and reality has become hard to ignore.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Updating the Malaysia solution

    • John Menadue
    • 26 July 2012
    9 Comments

    There is a lot of political point-scoring over whether particular countries have signed the Refugee Convention. But there is no signatory country on the route used by almost all asylum seekers fleeing to Australia. A regional framework must be built on what's available — such as the Malaysian agreement.

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  • MEDIA

    Vagina dialogue

    • Moira Rayner
    • 25 July 2012
    20 Comments

    Johnson & Johnson's 'Carefree' ads talked unblushingly of women's vaginas, inter-period discharge and daily smells. According to some, we shouldn't talk about such things, not on television. Until recently commercial products for absorbing menstrual blood didn't exist, with dreadful effect on women's participation in community and public life.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Across the purgatory sea to Botany Bay

    • Maria Takolander
    • 17 July 2012
    3 Comments

    Sophie, a Malagay slave in Mauritius, torched a barn housing a collection of leather straps — the flames soaring like the sounds of the black horses inside — and was packed off in a ship-sized crate to New South Wales.

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