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  • RELIGION

    Why I'm still a Catholic

    • Geraldine Doogue
    • 02 August 2012
    94 Comments

    I've come to believe that the world beyond the institutional Church is kinder, gentler, full of more conscientious ethics, values and care for others; that the secular world in which lay people live is more functional and more ready to conscience-examine than the institutional Church. Why then am I still a Catholic?

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  • MEDIA

    On media and massacres

    • Lyn Bender
    • 29 July 2012
    3 Comments

    Media and lone protagonists who commit Colorado-style mass murder have common traits. They seek to enthrall, send a message and rise above the pack. Many experts agree that dramatic, hysterical publicising of the perpetrator and his crime can feed the so called copycat compulsion.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    When gamers rule Australia

    • Michael McVeigh
    • 24 July 2012
    2 Comments

    Imagine if life was a video game. You could earn health points for a good diet, citizenship points for catching the train, social awareness points for reading the news. But how many points would you get for helping a homeless person? And how would you measure an activity such as talking to your family?

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  • MEDIA

    Orwell in 2012 Australia

    • Fatima Measham
    • 16 July 2012
    2 Comments

    As word of the national security inquiry filtered through Twitter last week, one wit remarked, '1984 is meant to be a cautionary tale, not a manual'. The proposed reforms constitute a disturbing concession that our intelligence sector is not equipped to deal with the increasing sophistication of covert online activity, without resorting to questionable laws.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Little Adonis and the fruit box

    • Helena Kadmos
    • 10 July 2012
    21 Comments

    When my father was born his parents named him Adonis, but for the first few years he was called Adonaki, Little Adonis. I picture him standing in the classroom on a fruit box, with his dark curly hair. His hair is still curly if it gets long enough, but it is very soft and silvery. He listens as I read this story to him and he wants to set some things straight.

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  • EDUCATION

    Teachers are wrong about performance pay

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 13 June 2012
    19 Comments

    The Victorian Government plans to introduce performance pay for teachers. The teachers' union has objected on the grounds that teachers are special. Its argument is faulty. Performance pay is not wrong for teachers because they are special, but because it is wrong for everybody.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Sympathy for the dodgy salesmen of Australian politics

    • Zac Alstin
    • 11 June 2012
    34 Comments

    Duplicity in politics is not new. Every utterance is tainted by the subtext of scoring points. If it is painful for us to listen, how much worse must it be for the politicians? It is dispiriting to constantly undermine one's own integrity, and the 'dodgy salesman' is no one's ideal of human flourishing.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Aboriginal Australians inherit racial fear

    • Brian McCoy
    • 28 May 2012
    12 Comments

    The shooting death of 17-year-old African-American Trayvon Martin brought to public attention The Talk, an oral tradition where people who have experienced racial discrimination and violence teach their young to be cautious when they are out in public. Aboriginal Australians have their own version of The Talk.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Traipsing Turkey's deep, dark soul

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 23 May 2012
    1 Comment

    A group of men wander the fields and knolls of a Turkish steppe in search of a corpse. Among them, a doctor's willingness to share a smoke with a confessed murderer contrasts starkly with the police chief's latent brutality. In this place empathy seems ever at odds with a world-weariness bordering on apathy.

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  • EDUCATION

    Schools confront the globalisation of superficiality

    • Greg O'Kelly
    • 26 April 2012
    20 Comments

    In 2010, Kevin Rudd asked Fr Adolfo Nicolas SJ, the international leader of the Jesuits, what he believed to be the major challenges facing western society. Nicolas replied 'the globalisation of superficiality'. Educating for depth and discernment is one of the biggest challenges facing teachers today.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Raising boys who play with dolls

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 09 April 2012
    14 Comments

    For every girl who feels she is being forced to choose between a thousand shades of pink, there's a boy hemmed in by society's expectations of what a boy should be. Female empowerment will lose its value unless women take men on the journey with them.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    A Mormon in the White House

    • Alan Gill
    • 03 April 2012
    5 Comments

    So we may yet have a Mormon, Mitt Romney, as the Republican contender for the White House. Forty years ago this would have led to a perceived clash of loyalties: 'Who runs America?' — remember the fuss about John F. Kennedy's Catholicism? Nowadays this seems to the be least of Romney's troubles.

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