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  • AUSTRALIA

    Petrol price plunge won’t arrest car decline

    • Greg Foyster
    • 05 February 2015
    3 Comments

    After years of writing pain-at-the-pump puns, journalists are giddy at the prospect of prices heading south for once. The low price is a boon for motorists and regional tourism operators. But it won't change the face that we've hit 'peak car' and are driving less. Young people now prize access over ownership.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Grieving pilgrim's wild days in the wilderness

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 28 January 2015
    1 Comment

    Cheryl Strayed is haunted by her past — by her own sins, and by tragedies that have befallen her. As she walks, she hums, and the music she hears in her head leads her in and out of the past. Her solo 1600-plus km trek along America's Pacific Crest Trail is a metaphor for her life: each hardship she overcomes brings her a step closer to facing down the fierce regrets that gnash at her heels.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Ritual procrastination as part of the grieving process

    • Jim Pilmer
    • 04 December 2014
    10 Comments

    Personal grief, complicated by group dynamics, is a volatile mixture. Phillip Hughes' death reminds us that personal stories highlight the huge variety of needs and perceptions surrounding a death in the workplace. When do we tidy the desk of the colleague who won't be back? There is a time, but maybe it's not yet. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Looking for depth in the selfie

    • Ellena Savage
    • 30 October 2014
    4 Comments

    I take a lot of selfies. Some of them are silly, coquettish, dramatic. Others are just my face looking into my computer, sitting where I work, dressed in work clothes. They mean more or less nothing. They’re just an inane collection of data on my laptop, or too easy self-portraits. Nothing means nothing, but it says something about the culture. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Too much order with too little law 30 years on

    • Frank Brennan
    • 22 July 2014
    1 Comment

    'Undoubtedly there are many challenges confronting our elected leaders in dealing with violent crime and with pathological sex offenders. But long-term sustainable solutions must be based on respect for judicial independence and for the role of the legal profession.' Frank Brennan addresses the Queensland Council for Civil Liberties at The Irish Club, 175 Elizabeth St, Brisbane 8 July 2014.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    This little app

    • Various
    • 23 June 2014
    2 Comments

    This little app drives the car for you while you're texting. This little app pushes the child on the swing while you're tweeting. This little app thanks the bus-driver, the taxi-driver, the butcher. This little app watches the movie and eats the popcorn while you're messaging. This little app talks to the neighbour, the carpenter, the courier. This little app makes eye contact with passers-by.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    My intersex wake-up call

    • Barry Gittins
    • 15 June 2014
    10 Comments

    Friends of mine had their first child recently and my first, 'obvious' question — 'Is it a boy or a girl?' — was answered by a jubilant father: 'It's a girl!' Life is complex, however, and our all-too-human desires for normalcy and 'simplicity' (embodied in my automatic query) are sometimes revealed to gleam in the light of unintended prejudice. The reality for some Australians is that my question isn't always as easily answered.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Planning for a good death

    • Michele Gierck
    • 25 May 2014
    9 Comments

    The ambulance has brought my 88-year-old mother to the Accident and Emergency ward at the local public hospital. In answering the doctor's question about resuscitation, I'm so thankful that my mother's wishes have been made clear, and documented by her general practitioner, by means of an Advance Health Directive.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Exploitation in gay adoption story

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 16 April 2014
    5 Comments

    Closeted gay lawyer Paul operates under a well-founded fear that his sexuality will imperil his career. He and his partner, drag queen Rudy, find that their status as a gay couple is used against them as they fight to retain custody of Marco, an abandoned teen with Down syndrome. This is a story marked by grave injustice, though we are expected to accept on face value that Marco will be better off with Rudy and Paul than in foster care.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Transcendent ordeal of an outback pilgrim

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 05 March 2014
    3 Comments

    Robyn Davidson's trek in 1978, 2700km overland from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean with only four camels and a dog for company, is the stuff of legend. Her physical ordeal takes her also to the jagged ends of her emotional and mental being, as she is pestered by tourists, for whom 'the camel lady' is already a living legend, and by paparazzi, who assail her at her most frayed. There is no missing the spiritual dimensions of her journey.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    It's time to heatproof our cities

    • Greg Foyster
    • 09 February 2014
    23 Comments

    Climate change has loaded the dice towards hotter days and more frequent heat spells. Heatwaves are only going to get worse, and air conditioning isn't the godsend it seems. We need to start retrofitting our cities, suburbs and homes to withstand the sweltering summers to come. Any new houses that perform poorly in the heat are going to be a tremendous burden on the next generation.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Best of 2013: Watching as Iraq crumbled

    • Donna Mulhearn
    • 06 January 2014

    I sat with my Iraqi friend in his photo store. I was his last customer, he said; the bombs would begin tomorrow. And then he began to weep. I remember thinking that his life, and the lives of others like him, would not be given a second's thought once the invasion started. The next day, the bombs began.  

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