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  • AUSTRALIA

    Family violence needs whole community response

    • Julie Edwards
    • 29 March 2016
    1 Comment

    The royal commission recommends a 'blitz' on rehousing family violence victims stuck in crisis and transitional housing, as well as individualised funding packages to open up access to private rentals for people fleeing violent relationships. Important though it is, it is not enough simply to support the victims of family violence. We also need to prevent family violence from occurring. This requires a strategy for preventing family violence that involves the whole community.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Deja vu for Timor as Turnbull neglects boundary talks

    • Frank Brennan
    • 20 March 2016
    10 Comments

    Rui Maria de Araujo, the prime minister of Timor-Leste, wrote to Malcolm Turnbull inviting him to turn a new leaf in the Australia-Timor relationship. It was not to be. But the Timorese are well used to winning the hearts and minds of Australians even when our political leaders appear to be tone deaf to their pleas. This time they have convinced the Labor Party about the justice of their cause, and there is every chance that the Australian community will rally behind them after the federal election.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Apology from a baby boomer to generations X and Y

    • Frank O'Shea
    • 03 March 2016
    2 Comments

    At present, there is an argument between the two sides of politics about negative gearing. According to one side, changing the rules would reduce the cost of housing - and this is their strongest argument against such a change. A member of Gen X or Gen Y - someone in their 20s or 30s, not long out of education and in a first or second job, saving in the hope of one day being able to afford a home of their own - might not read it the same way. No wonder they are looking for a Messiah.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Diagnosing the great Australian sickness

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 02 March 2016
    9 Comments

    Who better to consult than Dr Hippocrates and his humours? Before Tony Abbott's deposition the choleric element dominated in Australia, full of sound and fury. This has been followed by the preponderance of the sanguine humour, expressing itself in that sunny optimism that makes light of problems. But more recent events suggest that the humours are again in chronic imbalance. The core weakness in the Australian constitution has not been removed with the accession of Malcolm Turnbull.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Being myself doesn't work

    • Paul Micallef
    • 28 February 2016
    11 Comments

    Autism typically makes people less likely to care what others think. When I was younger my default was to do what I wanted, to 'be myself', and not worry if others were not doing the same thing. You can imagine what happens when I put this into action: I end up alone. I am the only one not dancing. I am the only one who wants to crank the metal music at 7am. I like people. I want to share my experiences. But often my choice often comes down to: 'Do I be myself? Or do I be around others?'

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Gospel brutality reborn in our harrowing of refugee children

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 10 February 2016
    15 Comments

    The High Court decision on detention in Nauru came down just before the Christian season of Lent. It left the government free and determined to deport many young mothers and children to Nauru. For the mothers and children deportation will bring new trauma with renewed threat to their already precarious mental health. For the Australian public it again makes us ask what brutality, even to children, we are ready to tolerate. The savagery of this treatment is a suitable subject for Lenten reflection.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    There's no cheap path to harmony

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 02 February 2016
    10 Comments

    Of the United Nations Days and Weeks, World Interfaith Harmony Week is one of the most recent and perhaps the most modestly celebrated. It may also be the most needed. But the conversation cannot be confined to the churches and to those with religious faith. Its claim needs to extend beyond religious faiths to secular views of the world. The obstacle to such conversation is the religious settlement in Australia and Western nations, which can be described as negative tolerance.

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  • MEDIA

    The butterfly effect of online grief

    • Kate Mani
    • 26 January 2016
    2 Comments

    A few months ago, someone I know died. We had only met a couple of times, accepted each other's Facebook friend requests, and messaged each other on and off. But I grew to know him well. His face filled my Facebook newsfeed weekly. Now I see his family's farewells, and the preceding year of photos makes it even easier to picture their grief. Be it the loss of a friend or a city shattered by terror, the 21st century colossus that is social media has reinvented the wheel of commemoration.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Mixed loyalties don't negate Australianness

    • Irfan Yusuf
    • 24 January 2016
    11 Comments

    I arrived in Australia at the ripe old age of five months. I learned Australian values by a process of gentle osmosis. Many Indigenous Australians learned these values in a less gentle fashion. Today, many Australian Jews show a strong loyalty to the world's only Jewish state. Others combine loyalties with other ancestral homelands. Australian Muslims, Catholics, Buddhists and Hindus have similar broadened loyalties. Exactly how such loyalties make them any less Australian beats me.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Life in procrastination nation

    • Ellena Savage
    • 21 January 2016
    4 Comments

    Where does this need for punctuality, performance and productivity arise? I don't believe it is rooted so much in 'western culture' as it is in capitalism. There is, after all, time for many kinds of dithering in the literature that charts western society. Socrates could barely tie his own sandals — he'd never make his job network meeting on time. Hamlet is entirely premised on the drama of procrastination: some things, like killing one's paternal uncle who is also the king, seem better fit for tomorrow.

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  • MEDIA

    2015 in review: Images that empower women

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 14 January 2016
    1 Comment

    Studies confirm that sexualised images of slim young women used in advertising and popular culture lead to body dissatisfaction, psychological impairment and eating disorders. A new initiative from the non-profit LeanIn.org is fighting this entrenched culture through a partnership with Getty Images. It has created a photo library depicting females in many sizes, cultures and styles of appearance, but all strong and determined and in-charge.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    2015 in review: Funding our own surveillance

    • Leanne O'Donnell
    • 11 January 2016

    Back in March Malcolm Turnbull told ABC radio: 'The only thing the data retention law is requiring is that types of metadata which are currently retained will be retained ... for at least two years.' In fact the laws, which come into effect next week, include an obligation on service providers to 'create' data that falls within the data set to be retained, if they don't already collect it. This isn't nitpicking. The more data that is created, the more the scheme will cost, and the greater the risk of privacy breach.

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