Search Results: andrew hamilton

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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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  • 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

    Does religion in schools go beyond branding?

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 26 August 2015
    27 Comments

    Religious schools have emphasised the transmission of faith and an ethical way of life through a network of relationships, symbols and processes. But this is now being tested, with the dominant view that values and faith are a private matter best hosted inside the family. The operative goals of schools become the academic and economic advancement of individuals, with religious classes and rituals little more than decoration and rhetorical branding.

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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

    The gloriously flawed humanity of our federal politics

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 19 August 2015
    9 Comments

    Recent weeks' events in federal politics stretch the imagination. The search for historical parallels brought me to the start of the Burke and Wills Expedition to the Gulf of Carpentaria, the disappearance of Azaria Chamberlain, and the race that saw Fine Cotton unravel. Each of these events was characteristically Australian. In Les Murray’s memorable phrase, they all had sprawl: the mingling of excess, overweening self-confidence, and the cutting of corners. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Coalition tactics on marriage and climate change risk self-destruction

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 16 August 2015
    25 Comments

    The consequences of the present Coalition manipulation will be that the hostility between opponents and proponents of legalisation is likely to be intensified, and the proper way to resolve the issues involved seen to lie in the untrammelled exercise of power and not in reasoned conversation. In such a climate, any appeal to other values at stake in legislation, such as religious freedom, will be regarded simply as self-interest, and will be overridden by the principle of non-discrimination.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Kickstart our dire democracy by giving teens the vote

    • Clancy Wright
    • 16 August 2015
    17 Comments

    Sixteen and 17-year-olds shape society and culture through language, music, sport, arts and fashion. They challenge boundaries and push cultural trends up through our social fabric. They engage with technology and future ideas in a way that many older generations would fine overwhelming and confusing. We need this enthusiasm, this creativity and proven inclination to take risks in order to question our society's established methods and bring colour and life back to the broader political debate.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Family violence more complex than sexual abuse

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 12 August 2015
    9 Comments

    Childhood experience of violence is associated with many other aspects of disadvantage which, as a recent study shows, interact with and intensify one another. Violence at the home is likely to be linked to irregular eating habits, poor educational achievement, mental illness, contact with the justice system, and substance abuse. The challenge of responding to family violence is even more complex than that of protecting children from sexual abuse.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Applaud the collapse of the Trans Pacific Partnership

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 09 August 2015
    15 Comments

    Last week the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) sank without trace. Ordinarily we might lament the failure to reach international agreements. Free trade is a benefit when it serves the common good, especially that of the most vulnerable. But the failure of the TPP is a cause for great joy. It was not about free trade, nor was the process by which it would have been carried through a proper one.

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  • EDUCATION

    Neither blame nor thank the Jesuits for Abbott and co.

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 05 August 2015
    56 Comments

    It seems absurd to hold schools responsible for the way Shorten, Abbott, Joyce, Pyne and Hockey behave. Schools have influenced them in good and bad ways, but ultimately they are their own men. So we Jesuits have no call to apologise, nor to take pride. We are not responsible for them. But we are responsible to them, as we are responsible to all our alumni, even if they languish in public life or public prisons.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australian academics right to resist respected global warming skeptic

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 02 August 2015
    8 Comments

    Lomborg's profile was built by a book on global warming in which he accepted its reality, but argued its effects would not be as catastrophic as predicted. He is a good media performer whose métier is not scholarship but popularisation. Universities, which claim that their activities are characterised by depth, appoint people with higher scholarly credentials and research experience to lead their research centres.

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