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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Single mum's housing hell

    • Debi Hamilton
    • 27 September 2011
    14 Comments

    She is a beautiful, understated woman. She lives in a rented house where, four years ago, she nursed her husband while he died. Since then, she has been raising three children there by herself. One day, the owner turned up at the door and told her he was selling.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    To remember is to pray

    • Brian Doyle
    • 08 September 2011
    3 Comments

    To remember the roaring courage of the people who rushed to help, or the people who used their last minutes on earth to call their families and say I love you I love you I will you forever, is to pray for them and us and even the poor silly murderers, themselves just lanky frightened children.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Revisiting South Africa

    • Duncan Maclaren
    • 30 August 2011
    2 Comments

    My last visit to South Africa was in 1989 when apartheid was in its death throes. The only difference between then and now in the gap between the poor (mostly black and so-called coloureds) and rich is that some blacks have become the 'nouveaux riches' of the new South Africa.

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  • EUREKA STREET/ READER'S FEAST AWARD

    Migrant myths and memories

    • Julie McNeill
    • 23 August 2011
    4 Comments

    Sociologist Eva Cox heard all the vitriol about boat people when, as a five-year-old Jewish girl, she fled Nazi Germany and headed to Australia. My nine-year-old mother was a different kind of boat arrival: one of 135,000 'child migrants' imported under the 'Populate or Perish' policy.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Kinglake undone

    • Jordie Albiston
    • 20 June 2011
    5 Comments

    Prayer has not prevailed. She sits silent without lover or friend: she slumps in her blackened skirts: she slumps in black dust: she slumps in her black that was green.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Record store pilgrim

    • Vin Maskell
    • 10 May 2011
    5 Comments

    Once, I soaked up so much music it seeped from my pores. A week wasn't complete without buying a few albums, seeing a few bands, talking music with mates until dawn. Now I wonder if my weekly pilgrimage to a city music store is merely a break from the working day, or a respite from fading dreams.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Gen Y, iPods and isolation

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 13 April 2011
    1 Comment

    Pavel's meanderings are soundtracked by rock music blaring through his earphones. Increasingly the iPod seems to symbolise some nonchalant skein that isolates self-centred youths from the world around them.

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  • MEDIA

    Losing Mikayla

    • TIm Kroenert
    • 16 December 2010
    6 Comments

    The mainstream media dons a benevolent face. 3AW talkback radio, The Herald Sun, Channels Nine and 7 News carry Mikayla into Melbournians' homes. It's easy to be cynical about their motives. In an ideal world every sick child would be noticed in this way.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Art by and for the lost

    • George Estreich
    • 01 December 2010
    2 Comments

    The word graffiti encloses a vast spectrum from vandalism to art. At one end, a black slosh across a dry-cleaner's window: no message, only a mess. At the other, a Martian-green man on the side of a defunct warehouse, brooding on a thought as immense as himself.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    A journey with Indigenous 'in-laws'

    • Myrna Tonkinson
    • 20 August 2010

    The women assemble to sing, dance, tell stories; thus the elders induct younger women into the religious knowledge and rituals that are shared across a wide area. Yuwani Annie's origin story blends a Yanyuwa version with the biblical Adam and Eve story.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Election week poems

    • Mark Carkeet and Graham Kershaw
    • 17 August 2010

    They're elderly, unstable, probably a couple, their cheerful eyes sprung like steel against the cold, their hands arthritic, resigned; their grip carrying no conviction. Concentration lapses. People fail to see. This has never been a Labour town.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Tales from the kingdom of force

    • Ben Coleridge
    • 16 August 2010
    2 Comments

    Flicking the frisbee with a well practised arm, Jimmy told me about his former home in Sri Lanka. 'Last time I was there, I was carrying bodies to their graves in my arms, even the bodies of friends.' Homer's Iliad is a poem of force in which, at all times, the human spirit is shown modified by its relations with force.

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