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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Oprah won't be the anti-Trump

    • Zac Davis
    • 12 January 2018
    5 Comments

    With a rousing display of oration not seen since before last November, she electrified the room and inspired a nation to all ask: should Oprah be our next president? True, it was a great speech. If she runs, she will win. If she wins, it will be a substantial improvement. But these are not good enough reasons to cheer for a presidential run.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Best of 2017: Getting some perspective on Charlottesville

    • Fatima Measham
    • 11 January 2018

    Instead of refining his initial remarks about a Nazi rally in Charlottesville, which brutally claimed the life of a counter-protester, Donald Trump has doubled down. At a heated news conference in New York, he demanded that journalists define 'alt-right', invoked the idea of an 'alt-left', and lay blame on 'both sides'.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Best of 2017: Memories of assault last a lifetime

    • Megan Graham
    • 10 January 2018

    Most women know and have experienced the fact that there are a substantial number of men in society who are willing to use their power, physical or otherwise, to get what they want sexually from women. Which is why so many of us, myself included, have responded to the Weinstein story with sadness, but not surprise.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Best of 2017: Why 'white' isn't a racist slur

    • Sonia Nair
    • 10 January 2018
    5 Comments

    I hung out with a group of Indian-Australians while I was a university student who called themselves 'curries', but the unspoken camaraderie that ensued from this self-identification stood in stark contrast to that time I was called a 'f***ing curry' by a passing car full of white people.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Best of 2017: Postal survey ends don't justify means

    • Neve Mahoney
    • 10 January 2018
    3 Comments

    In the ensuing debate, we shouldn't let ourselves forget that this postal vote never should have happened in the first place, and nothing like this should happen again to any minority group. The public voting yes or no on human rights is not what democracy looks like.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Best of 2017: Indigenous rights 50 years after the referendum

    • Dani Larkin
    • 09 January 2018

    In the face of historically low levels of Indigenous representation in our parliaments, the Indigenous caucus between Commonwealth, State and Territory Labor representatives points to some progress. But we have a long way to go.

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  • RELIGION

    Best of 2017: Bishop Long at the Royal Commission

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 08 January 2018
    7 Comments

    Vincent Long's testimony was notable for its directness, honesty and the awareness it displayed of the importance of church culture. Long grew up in the Vietnamese Catholic Church and was afterwards chosen to lead the Australian Church. In his responses he focused on clericalism and its role in giving license and cover to clerical abuse.

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  • RELIGION

    Best of 2017: Commission's Catholic wrap-up

    • Frank Brennan
    • 08 January 2018
    13 Comments

    The statistics were horrifying. Every case represented a person who claims as a child to have been abused by a person of authority in a Catholic institution. Whichever way the statistics are interpreted in comparison with other institutions, they are appalling. We need to hold the victims clearly in focus.

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  • RELIGION

    Best of 2017: The abuse commission 'damp squib'

    • Moira Rayner
    • 08 January 2018
    2 Comments

    This royal commission has changed the public response of religious institutions, not their culture. Nor has it altered the culture at the political pointy ends of state, territory or national government. The cause of the misuse of power over children was our refusal to take a child's world view as seriously as our own adult priorities.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    My recurring nightmare before Christmas

    • Megan Graham
    • 19 December 2017
    7 Comments

    I look at those who can't get enough Christmas sentiment and stimulation. They crave them to the same degree I crave a quiet night on the couch. I wish I could be like them, feeling, well, like 'all their Christmases have come at once'. [God no, please, never]

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Reckoning with abuse in the Australian arts

    • Neve Mahoney
    • 13 December 2017
    2 Comments

    The results of recent surveys concerning sexual assault and harassment in the Australian arts are appalling. Post-Weinstein, this feels like a reckoning of the creative industries. Despite the increased awareness, many are asking how we can possibly change the entrenched culture of harassment and discrimination.

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  • RELIGION

    Food for imagination in Christmas stories and art

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 12 December 2017
    7 Comments

    The embroidery on the Gospel stories shows that, like the painter and the refugees treading through the dust and heat of the road to Egypt, God dreams of a peaceful world in which people and nature live at peace, villages are well watered, trees cared for, grapes hang in bunches, refugee children are fed, and angels help make art.

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