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  • RELIGION

    Joan Chittister's humility

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 15 July 2019
    21 Comments

    Some have portrayed Chittister as a feminist, secular warrior in religious dress. But those familiar with her writing on social, cultural and political issues recognise that it is fed by her life as a Benedictine Sister, and particularly by her deep, lived reflection on the Rule of St Benedict.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Kindness stories that are good for the spirit

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 15 July 2019
    4 Comments

    Among writers familiar in Australia who write in this vein are Michael McGirr, Terry Monagle and the much missed Brian Doyle. Their writing does not merely describe but evokes and creates a world, and shapes a human response that respects its variety and mystery. These qualities are evident in Julie Perrin's Tender.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    An Orwellian view of climate change

    • Brian Matthews
    • 12 July 2019
    6 Comments

    By 'belly to earth', Orwell meant not only the uncomplicated, hands-on approach he threw himself into at Wallington. It also denoted a quality of engagement with the natural world that he saw to be threatened by the nature of what he considered to be the 'evil' times in which he lived — a feeling familiar to many in 2019.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The west's fossil fuels problem is strategic, too

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 08 July 2019
    5 Comments

    When discussing climate change, it's easy to depict the world's reliance on fossil fuels as primarily a technological problem, to be resolved by new methods for harnessing renewable energies. But that's only part of the story, as the example of Saudi Arabia shows.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Fool Britannia: On bad mannered Brexiteers

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 08 July 2019
    30 Comments

    As a celebratory anthem, Beethoven's 'Ode to Joy', was played, the Brexit MEPs, all 29 of them, turned their backs, thus insulting the Parliament, the young and talented musicians, and Beethoven himself. They clearly did not realise they were demeaning themselves by acting in this fashion.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Loathsome 'Handmaid' erases race

    • Celeste Liddle
    • 08 July 2019
    10 Comments

    The main character has a black partner, and her best friend is a black lesbian. Yet there is no exploration of race politics. We are supposed to believe that a world which is both incredibly class-driven and misogynistic is also non-racist. Even though we know through intersectionality theory and basic world history that this never happens.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Working for a shared Australian identity

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 08 July 2019
    5 Comments

    The NAIDOC theme returns to the other side of the relationship between First and later Australians — that of unity within a single nation — and invites cooperation in a project that matters to all Australians. At stake is not simply the fulfilment of Indigenous hopes but shared pride in an Australian identity.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What you notice when you’re not really there

    • Neve Mahoney
    • 04 July 2019
    8 Comments

    I've waitressed at yacht clubs, fire stations, homes. I've seen 16 year olds on their birthdays, old couples on their anniversaries, a surprise wedding. I've watched grandmothers ferrying food to their grandkids, and heard the cadences in people's speech all over Victoria. I learned a lot about people when I wasn't 'really' there.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Nuts and bolts of an Aussie Green New Deal

    • Cristy Clark
    • 04 July 2019
    5 Comments

    A Green New Deal in Australia would mean a stronger commitment to a government-led rapid transition to renewable energy and cleaner transport, with clear programs to support transition to well-paid green jobs in places that previously relied on resource extractive industries. This isn't necessarily as expensive as it sounds.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Comrades among the ruins of neoliberalism

    • John Falzon
    • 03 July 2019
    19 Comments

    One of the greatest philosophical challenges for social justice is to articulate a 21st century vision of the role of government. Government is the chief means by which people achieve collectively what they cannot achieve alone. We have no right to indulge in despair when more and more people are being forced to bear the brunt of inequality.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    A close encounter with our ill health system

    • Daniel Sleiman
    • 03 July 2019
    10 Comments

    When I found myself facing the prospect of thyroid surgery, I had two options: either I could get it done for free through Medicare or privately at a cost of $11,000. I've been reflecting again on that choice in light of the recent criticism of 'celebrity' brain surgeon Charlie Teo. Australia's healthcare system is not as egalitarian as we think it is.

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  • EDUCATION

    A student's view of mobile phone bans

    • Ann Maria Sabu
    • 03 July 2019
    4 Comments

    I did not need to put in much effort to imagine what such a ban would feel like. I have already experienced more rigid when I studied in Dubai and in India. I used to witness more interaction among students and more studious class environments in these places than what I do now in a private Victorian secondary college.

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