Search Results: history

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    East Timorese heroes of Australian wars

    • Susan Connelly
    • 23 April 2017
    20 Comments

    Fearful of the southward thrust of the Japanese, the Australian government entered East Timor against the wishes of its Portuguese colonisers. The move was not to protect the Timorese, but to thwart possible attacks on Australia. A band of intrepid Australian soldiers, never numbering more than 700, successfully held off thousands of Japanese in Timor, but only because they had the support of the local people. Between 40,000 and 60,000 Timorese died as a result of Japanese reprisals.

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  • ECONOMICS

    The language of exploitation in the online labour market

    • Daniel Nicholson
    • 23 April 2017
    3 Comments

    When you are in the business of exploiting people, language matters. A recently leaked document from Deliveroo is geared to emphasising that the people who deliver food for Deliveroo are and should remain independent contractors, not employees. In 2016, a Unions NSW report into the employment practices of gig-economy company AirTasker categorised the online labour market as 'unregulated Taylorism within a Dickensian marketplace where workers compete for bite-sized fragments of labour'.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Poems for Anzac Day

    • Jena Woodhouse and Ian C. Smith
    • 23 April 2017
    2 Comments

    Now, the forces of annihilation once again cohere, as if this were a valve in history's cardiac arrhythmia that faltered and unleashed a haemorrhage of horror, trauma, fear. The damask roses bloom unharvested in devastated fields. Their perfume cannot mask the stench that permeates the air, the atmosphere of dread, of mute despair. But when the juggernaut of war is redeployed elsewhere, the fragrant fields will come into their own, if there are hands to care.

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  • RELIGION

    Easter illuminates Anzac Day rhetoric

    • Michael McVeigh
    • 23 April 2017
    3 Comments

    The transition from Easter to Anzac Day in Australia can be a strange one, particularly when the two celebrations come in the space of two weeks as they do this year. At Easter, we move from the terrible desolation of Good Friday to the joy of Easter Sunday. It's the foundation story for the Christian faith, and speaks of the arrival of new life and hope for the world. Anzac Day forces Christians to confront a different reality - that this new hope has yet to be fully realised.

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  • RELIGION

    Religious literacy routs Islamophobia

    • Ann Deslandes
    • 06 April 2017
    24 Comments

    A person with religious literacy has an understanding and appreciation of the teachings of religions in the world, is knowledgeable about the various applications and manifestations of those teachings, and understands how religious faith forms, informs and enriches contemporary human society. In a world where Islamophobia and anti-Semitism are on the rise, endangering and taking the lives of so many innocent people of faith, it is difficult to overstate the importance of religious literacy.

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  • RELIGION

    Labor Party reform through Catholic Social Teaching

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 04 April 2017
    5 Comments

    It can be disconcerting to hear our family history told by a sympathetic outsider. I found Race Matthews' new book that treats Catholic engagement in public social issues fascinating in that respect. Matthews' perspective is that of a member of the Labor Party who admires Catholic Social Teaching, especially its commendation of the communal ownership of business enterprises. He sees the possibilities this presents for the reform of Australian society, particularly if adopted by the Labor Party.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Deconstructing the privatisation scam

    • David James
    • 03 April 2017
    12 Comments

    It is increasingly evident how pernicious the privatisation myth is. Two recent examples have underlined it: the failings in Australia's privatised energy grid and the usurious pricing in airport car parks. Both demonstrated that it is folly to expect a public benefit to inevitably emerge from private profit seeking. The purpose of government funded public infrastructure is not to make profits but to lower the cost of doing business, sometimes called the socialisation of the means of production.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Life before suicide

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 29 March 2017
    1 Comment

    A film about a lonely widower who repeatedly attempts suicide seems like a grim proposition. Ove has suffered one too many blows in his life, the latest being the loss of his job. He finds himself at a loose end, if not purposeless. He is the self-appointed overseer of the gated community where he has lived for years, enforcing protocols of behaviour among his terrorised neighbours. Now he's had enough, and decides to join his beloved wife Sonja, in eternity. But dying doesn't come easily to Ove.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Don't underestimate the politics of hate

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 21 March 2017
    15 Comments

    The Prioress in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales had a brooch alluding to Virgil's phrase, 'love conquers all'. In her case, her love for her two lapdogs beat her affection for mere people. But in public life one wonders about the truth of the epigram. Indeed a good case could be made that hatred conquers all, and that it is stronger than love. The advent of Donald Trump with his individual style has occasioned lament that the public world is now dominated by hatred and contempt. But there is nothing new in it.

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  • EDUCATION

    Towards a more inclusive religious curriculum

    • Sophie Chalmers
    • 20 March 2017
    21 Comments

    The Dalai Lama is turning 82 this July, and he may be the last in his line. The religious and political ramifications of this are often lost on the general public. Many people in largely Christian Australia don't know the significance of a Mikveh in Judaism, can't explain why the Buddhist Middle Path is so important, or recite what the Five Pillars of Islam are. There are as many diverse interpretations of Hinduism as there are for Christianity, and as many insightful Buddhist stories as there are in the Bible.

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  • MEDIA

    Bible Society's blunder was excluding LGBTI voices

    • Rohan Salmond
    • 16 March 2017
    22 Comments

    The Bible Society didn't think its video promoting civilised discussion about same-sex marriage would be a problem, but it pushed a lot of buttons they didn't even know existed. There are a lot of layers to the public's reaction, but here's one: the Bible Society has never taken an explicit public position on the present marriage debate, but its sister organisation, the Centre for Public Christianity, only features videos and essays by people who hold an exclusively man-woman view of marriage.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    No rest for Borneo's indigenous rights warriors

    • Fiona McAlpine
    • 16 March 2017
    6 Comments

    One year ago, a remarkable win for indigenous rights took place in a little-reported corner of Asia. On the island of Borneo, rainforest communities won a long fight against a hydroelectric dam that was to be built on their land. After more than two years of muddy resistance, the dam plans were shelved, and land rights were restored to the indigenous population. This was a landmark win, in more ways than one.

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