Search Results: Indigenous Australians

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  • Romero answers the question of who a pastor should side with

    • Frank Brennan
    • 31 May 2015
    4 Comments

    We recall that Oscar Romero was chosen by the Vatican to be the new archbishop of San Salvador in 1977 because he was regarded as a safe spiritual leader who was acceptable to the politically powerful in El Salvador.  It was thought that he would not challenge the status quo.  Such predictions came to nought given the events of 12 March 1977 when his friend, the Jesuit Fr Rutillio Grande SJ was killed with two of his companions.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The path to a successful referendum

    • Frank Brennan
    • 27 May 2015
    5 Comments

    We gather on the 48th anniversary of the 1967 referendum. All major political parties to an agreed referendum question when going into the next federal election, with the understanding that the new government and the new parliament would proceed to put a referendum to the people, perhaps on Saturday 27 May 2017, the fiftieth anniversary of the successful 1967 referendum.

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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

    Neoliberal economics can't care for the disadvantaged

    • Paul Jensen
    • 21 May 2015
    9 Comments

    Neoliberal economics underlies the recent Federal Budget and the major parties’ welfare policies. It proclaims the end of the age of entitlement and speaks of small government, as it embraces the privatisation of 'service delivery'. Faith based organisations are involved as agencies of the government, often forced to impose punitive measures rather than the promise of the 'carrot' that is their purpose. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Slow progress in Constitutional recognition for Indigenous Australians

    • Frank Brennan
    • 18 May 2015
    7 Comments

    Our Constitution is premised on the outdated notions of terra nullius and assimilation. It is more than three years ago since the Gillard Government set up an Expert Panel, and the Abbott Government is waiting for consensus. Noel Pearson is right to insist that Aboriginal leaders need a place at the table.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The snob who snubbed Australia's Indigenous imagination

    • Brian Matthews
    • 30 April 2015
    14 Comments

    Mrs Cowling was formidable. Her significant physical presence was accentuated by a commanding mien, impeccable English enunciation, and an impressive depth and breadth of literary reference supporting rock-firm opinions. All these years later, I wonder just how burdened she was in teaching literature to Australian students, which she continued to do into her 80th year, by her husband's notoriety.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia's low road to the Security State

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 29 April 2015
    33 Comments

    Only extremists regard Muslims as enemies. But if a populist and incompetent government were to scapegoat them and declare them to be enemies, as was done to asylum seekers, it would be a short step to build on the laws already introduced with further discriminatory legislation. That in turn would lessen the protections under the law that other groups would enjoy. Of course, this could never happen in Australia. But that is what they once said in Germany, Chile and South Africa.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Funding cut signals the destruction of Aboriginal life in Australia

    • Michele Madigan
    • 06 April 2015
    30 Comments

    WA accepted the Federal Government's one off $90 million grant to transfer funding for remote Aboriginal communities, many of which will be closed down. Meanwhile in South Australia, the State Government is challenging the Federal Government to uphold the responsibilities it has held since 1973. But it is cutting the communities' funding by 90 per cent.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Political roadblock stalls remote kidney disease treatment

    • Brian Stacey
    • 17 March 2015
    6 Comments

    In 2011 the Commonwealth set aside $10 million for the NT Government to provide for dialysis patients from remote communities in Central Australia. But the funds remain in the Commonwealth’s bank account, while the need is acute. Community organisations and others including Vinnies and Caritas are helping, but it’s shameful that the needs of one of Australia’s most vulnerable groups are still unmet long after funding has been allocated.  

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Remote 'lifestyle choices' need careful consideration

    • Myrna Tonkinson
    • 12 March 2015
    13 Comments

    The PM's cavalier use of the term 'lifestyle choice' is totally inappropriate when referring to the people who will be affected by the proposed closures of remote Aboriginal communities. Undeniably it is expensive to sustain remote living, and effective schooling and health services are unfeasible. But we must avoid arbitrary decision-making, and implicit disparagement of people in remote communities.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Good race relations is not just an American thing, it's democracy

    • Frank Brennan
    • 09 March 2015
    17 Comments

    Saturday marked the 50th anniversary of the voting right marches across the bridge in Selma, Alabama. The movie Selma is a great though imperfect study in race relations, which is still a hot issue in the US following the spate of police killings of young African American men. Good race relations still has a long way to go, as it does in Australia.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Government's mixed report card on taking responsibility

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 15 February 2015
    19 Comments

    Last week two reports exposed the limits of Australian responsibility to people who have suffered as a result of historical or present Government actions. The Closing the Gap Report revealed more failures than successes, and Tony Abbott's response to the Report was exemplary in taking responsibility. Not so with the Human Rights Commission Report into children in detention. He denied responsibility and accused the messenger of deliberately distorting the facts.

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