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  • AUSTRALIA

    Best of 2013: Australia's disgusting politics

    • Moira Rayner
    • 07 January 2014
    9 Comments

    Gillard is the most prominent woman in our country. She has been repeatedly humiliated, disparaged and ridiculed for that very reason. We may criticise her decisions, but always aware of the context in which they were made, which is dangerously toxic. Her courage under pressure is astonishing, but we ought to despair at her party which is willing itself into annihilation by adding more poison.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Parochial Australia needs to grow up

    • Fatima Measham
    • 16 August 2013
    15 Comments

    Hot-button topics such as economic management and asylum seekers are best seen from a wide lens, yet we seem determined to keep the rest of the world out of the frame. It is a sea-girt mentality that our politicians don't care to take apart because it is too hard to convince the average voter that there are in fact other people on the planet. Such denialism will inevitably leave us ill-prepared for significant challenges.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Human faces of Monet's demons

    • Benedict Coleridge
    • 09 August 2013
    7 Comments

    Monet, in a period of deep grief and loss, made what was in his career a rare decision: to paint other people. The artist forgot himself in contemplating the faces of his wife and his son, in depicting the faces of death and of incomprehension. We need icons like this — icons of incomprehension, reminders of the fragile self that, behind its virtual armour, is beset by doubt and demons.

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  • RELIGION

    Pope's Catholic health check

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 01 August 2013
    31 Comments

    Both Francis and Benedict emphasise Christian faith in the Catholic Church as the privileged way of finding meaning in life. But where Benedict might picture the Church as a treasury of all the beliefs, relationships, liturgical details and traditions, Francis might imagine it as like a dispensary from which health workers go out to share their life saving medicines.

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  • RELIGION

    Pope Francis' three types of intelligence

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 18 July 2013
    30 Comments

    When policies affect people's lives, imaginative intelligence should come first into play. It is the inclination to see people, not simply as the objects of policy, but as persons each with their own face and life story. The Pope exemplified this when he visited Lampedusa, 'Italy's Christmas Island', to mourn the dead and console the living. And in so doing he stated the priority for others.

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  • RELIGION

    Continuity in a changing church

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 10 July 2013
    9 Comments

    In the tension between tradition and change, John Paul II is seen as an emblem of continuity, and Pope John XXIII as a symbol for radical change. In the decision to canonise both former popes, Francis has refocused continuity as a way of honouring different perspectives in the name of a greater common mission.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia and Indonesia's deadly games of pass-the-parcel

    • Tony Kevin
    • 24 June 2013
    15 Comments

    The sinking of the asylum seeker vessel SIEV 358 encapsulates key questions as to why these tragedies too often happen at interfaces between Australia's border protection system and maritime search and rescue system, and the under-resourced Indonesian maritime search and rescue system. Hopefully next week's public inquest by the WA Coroner comes up with some answers.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia's disgusting politics

    • Moira Rayner
    • 20 June 2013
    45 Comments

    Gillard is the most prominent woman in our country. She has been repeatedly humiliated, disparaged and ridiculed for that very reason. We may criticise her decisions, but always aware of the context in which they were made, which is dangerously toxic. Her courage under pressure is astonishing, but we ought to despair at her party which is willing itself into annihilation by adding more poison.

    READ MORE
  • RELIGION

    Imagine being Christian in a rational world

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 06 June 2013
    26 Comments

    The Christian imagination is marked by internal tension and by tension with prevailing forms of rationality. These tensions are often dealt with by harmonising. The challenge facing those who arrive at these harmonising versions of their faith is to find sufficient sustenance for the imagination to allow them to happily stake their life on it.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    My theatrical encounter with Don Dunstan

    • Brian Matthews
    • 24 May 2013
    2 Comments

    One of the great monuments to the 'Dunstan Decade', the Adelaide Festival Centre marks its 40th birthday next weekend. It was the first capital city complex devoted to the performing arts, before even the Sydney Opera House. For me the anniversary triggers a flood of memories, including a theatrical encounter with Dunstan himself.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Time to re-imagine the Australian flag

    • Philip Harvey
    • 11 May 2012
    50 Comments

    The readiness of Australians to design a flag that is agreed to and honoured ought to be on the agenda of any forward-looking party. Otherwise a day will come when a design will be foisted on us that no one likes and has no distinctive meaning. One only has to listen to the national anthem to know Australians are capable of embracing second best.

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  • RELIGION

    Titanic lessons in the age of swagger

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 13 April 2012
    9 Comments

    The Titanic has become the symbol of the end of a swaggering era marked by great self-confidence and belief in inevitable progress. It suggests that whenever swagger begins to walk the streets it is time to head for the lifeboats. We find it hard to apply this lesson to the circumstances of our own times.

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