Search Results: culture wars

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  • EDUCATION

    Harvard professor defies Australian class warfare

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 26 June 2014
    13 Comments

    Amidst a whirl of media interviews and meetings, David Sinclair, professor of genetics at Harvard University and one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people in the world for 2014, paid a visit to his alma mater: a state school in suburban Sydney. State schools aren't the repositories of children too impoverished or unintelligent for the alternative; they're the living manifestation of democracy, egalitarianism, multiculturalism and ecumenism.

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  • EDUCATION

    School leavers' class wars

    • Ellena Savage
    • 12 June 2014
    11 Comments

    Year 12 tertiary entrance exams: turning 17-year-olds into nervous wrecks since the 1830s. They divide the smart from the dumb, the hopefuls from the no-hopers, and, what it boils down to more often than not, the privately educated from the state educated. But what if there was another way, a way that properly acknowledged the impact high schools have on their students' access to university admission?

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Ukraine races towards civil war

    • Tony Kevin
    • 05 May 2014
    19 Comments

    Tim Judah, highly regarded historian of the post-Yugoslavia wars of secession, predicted things were about to go very badly in Ukraine. He wrote that in the east he witnessed 'the same brave talk, euphoria, and delusions' that beset Yugoslavs before they 'tipped their country into catastrophe in the 1990s'. Just two weeks later, Ukraine races towards civil war, prompted largely by the provocative clumsiness of Kiev and its Western cheerleaders.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Star Wars fails the colour test

    • Fatima Measham
    • 01 May 2014
    11 Comments

    As I scanned the actor profiles for the new Star Wars film, it became apparent that no brown actress was among them. The mythology George Lucas created 40 years ago remains predominantly male and white. What happens when brown women are kept out of the picture is that their invisibility is normalised. We are not seen to contribute, much less lead. This is not harmless. It makes our presence in society incidental. Dispensable.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    My brother the silent veteran

    • Julie Kean
    • 22 April 2014
    7 Comments

    I was 13 when he went to Vietnam. There was a kind of perverse status to be derived from having a brother called up for national service, and for him to head north of the equator was a further plus. When I participated in a Moratorium March it remained my secret. What did he see over there? What did he manage to forget over his subsequent 34 years? We'll never know because he never said. And he never participated in Anzac Day.

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  • RELIGION

    Jury still out on Francis the game-changer

    • Paul Collins
    • 12 March 2014
    12 Comments

    The greatest danger is that we expect too much from Francis. He brings a new perspective that has little to do with the preoccupations of the developed world. But we shouldn't kid ourselves that he is a closet progressive. The other danger is that he could turn out to be all show and no substance. His 'Gang of Eight' has not even begun to address the diabolically difficult problems embedded in reforming the curial structures of the Vatican.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Fawlty thinking about the aftermyth of war

    • Ray Cassin
    • 28 January 2014
    15 Comments

    'Don't mention the war!' admonishes John Cleese as the hapless hotelier Basil Fawlty in the classic television comedy series Fawlty Towers. With a string of war-related anniversaries to take place over the next four years, beginning this year with the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, we may soon find ourselves sharing Fawlty's sentiments.

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  • RELIGION

    Best of 2013: Advice for the Pope on reforming the Church

    • Geraldine Doogue
    • 13 January 2014
    13 Comments

    I wish he would invite me to be his temporary consultant, to offer him advice for his next 500 days. I'd begin by proposing a substantial Vatican-led inquiry, into why the Church has been so troubled by sexual abuse across various countries. Then I would point to the experiences of several large secular institutions, including the New York Times and US Army, that have rebuilt after crises.

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  • RELIGION

    This time in the Church

    • Frank Brennan
    • 11 November 2013
    5 Comments

    'Having thrown off the shackles of compulsion endured by pre-Vatican II Catholics, we relish that we come to the table not because we are forced, not because of social expectations, not because of the mindset of the mob, but because we are graciously called and freely responding.' Frank Brennan's Camino Address, Parish of Our Lady of the Way North Sydney, 12 November 2013

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  • RELIGION

    Christian social thinking for Australia

    • Frank Brennan
    • 07 November 2013
    1 Comment

    'Many Catholics wonder how we can maintain our Christian faith at this time in the wake of the sexual abuse crisis and the many judgmental utterances about sexuality and reproduction. The Church that has spoken longest and loudest about sex in all its modalities seems to be one of the social institutions most needing to get its own house in order.' Frank Brennan's address to the Yarra Institute for Religion and Social Policy, 8 November 2013. 

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  • RELIGION

    Pope Francis and Australia’s social justice agenda

    • Frank Brennan
    • 23 October 2013

    'Here is a pope who is not just about creating wiggle room or watering down the teachings of the Church. No, he wants to admit honestly to the world that we hold in tension definitive teachings and pastoral yearnings — held together coherently only by mercy and forgiveness.' Frank Brennan's Wallis Lecture presented in Hobart on 24 October 2013 and Launceston on 25 October 2013.

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  • RELIGION

    Has the Catholic Church in Australia any credibility left?

    • Frank Brennan
    • 02 October 2013
    18 Comments

    'What a pope; what a man! ... The credibility of the Catholic Church has been enhanced with this new pope. We see in him many of the finest aspects of the presently battered and ageing Church.' Frank Brennan's presentation for Spirituality in the Pub, Pumphouse Hotel, Fitzroy, Vic. on 2 October 2013.

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