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  • The insights of Pope Francis in shaping Catholic health and aged care

    • Frank Brennan
    • 26 August 2015
    7 Comments

    When addressing Italian doctors last November, Pope Francis quoted St. Camillus de Lellis who suggested that the most effective method in caring for the sick was simply to 'Put more heart into those hands.' Let's do something to change the market settings and political settings here in Australia to modify the behaviour of all Australians in the future, and let's attend to our own Franciscan interior ecological conversion with our care for the vulnerable.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Thai turmoil continues

    • Michael Kelly
    • 25 August 2015
    4 Comments

    Thailand's chronic political instability intensified with the bomb that exploded last week in the middle of a major Bangkok tourist district. With 20 dead and still counting, the event is a decisive rebuttal of the military dictatorship's promise to restore 'happiness' to Thailand. Because Thailand's public life revolves around the frail and ageing king and the military, a brighter future awaits the outcome of royal succession.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    UK Labour's hysterical power struggle

    • Daniel Read
    • 18 August 2015
    12 Comments

    The ongoing drama over leadership of the UK Labour Party is raising the possibility of further fractures in the politics of austerity, not just in Britain, but across Europe. The entire political edifice of British politics has shifted so far to the right that even a somewhat inoffensive endorsement of state ownership, anti-austerity politics and trade union support, alongside scrapping the UK's nuclear deterrent and questioning our continued membership in NATO, can appear dangerously radical.

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  • A trinity of questions about Laudato Si’

    • Frank Brennan
    • 06 August 2015
    3 Comments

    Pope Francis is not the first pope to address a social encyclical to everyone. But in comparison with his predecessors, Francis has been more inclusive in the process of writing the encyclical and in the final content of the document. He quotes from 17 different conferences of Catholic bishops. He is at pains to indicate that he is collaborative and that he takes the principle of subsidiarity very seriously. Being the final redactor of the text, he has felt free to interpolate some very folksy advice from time to time. He has also taken the liberty of inserting some very blunt, evocative images of environmental and economic devastation.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The Government's retrogressive Indigenous Advancement Strategy

    • Michele Madigan
    • 30 June 2015
    8 Comments

    This week sees the new budget allocations for Aboriginal communities take effect, with deep soul-destroying cuts being spun as 'advancement'. They reflect a redefinition of reality faced by many Australians, with indigenous people unsure how they have benefited from the Tony Abbott declaring himself the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and putting the Indigenous Affairs Office within his own Department. 

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  • The spirit of Redfern's Ted Kennedy a decade on

    • Frank Brennan
    • 25 May 2015
    7 Comments

    There are many things different from Ted's day, but he would have spoken of them without fear or compromise. A pope from the South who asks 'Who am I to judge?'; a 62 per cent Irish people's vote in favour of expanding the definition of civil marriage;  the long awaited beatification of Oscar Romero whose identification with the poor did not win immediate Vatican approval; the call by civic leaders for an Australian cardinal to return home and answer questions posed by a royal commission; and the election of a black US president.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Europe's more humane approach to on-water matters

    • Ellena Savage
    • 24 April 2015
    13 Comments

    Australian references to 'boat people' is simplistic and offensive. 'Queue jumper' inaccurate and moralising. Even the term 'asylum seeker' has become politically complicit. European coverage of this week's Mediterranean boat tragedy describes the victims and survivors simply as 'migrants', which is an open description of a person on a boat crossing borders.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Vera Brittain's elegant anti-war ode

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 23 April 2015
    5 Comments

    Vera, a latecomer to the gathering, interjects. She has worked as a nurse, has had her hands warmed by the blood of the maimed and the soon-to-be-dead of both sides of the conflict. She has lost loved ones, too — a brother, a friend, a fiancé — and the grief of their loss will be with her always. But how can violent conflict ever be truly redeemed through the trauma of more violent conflict? The German soldiers who died in the war left behind loved ones, too.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Anzac Day a jarring experience for migrant Australians

    • Fatima Measham
    • 20 April 2015
    65 Comments

    Since John Howard promoted the memory of 25 April 2015 in the years after 9/11, it has become entrenched in the public imagination as the definitive Australian moment. I look upon it from a distance, in awe, and as the deification of the white male soldier continues apace, with a deeper sense of alienation. As a non-white Australian who migrated to this country from the Philippines, I did try to make it relevant for myself for a while.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia no longer a global Good Samaritan

    • Michael Mullins
    • 23 March 2015
    6 Comments

    It's a pity that Australia's ongoing emergency aid to other nations was tainted by the Prime Minister's suggestion Indonesia should grant clemency to Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran because Australia had provided $1 billion after the 2004 tsunami. Now that Vanuatu has been devastated by Cyclone Pam, its people and government might wonder what we expect in exchange for our $5 million initial commitment and promised follow up assistance in the form of medical staff and rescue personnel.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Young people not supported after they leave care

    • Philip Mendes
    • 17 March 2015
    2 Comments

    There are currently two national inquiries into the experiences of children in out-of-home care. Yet neither is specifically exploring what happens to young people transitioning from care. This is like a football team putting in a good performance in the first half but neglecting the second, which decides the outcome.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    How to be a gym junkie and a food junkie at the same time

    • Isabella Fels
    • 11 March 2015
    5 Comments

    How I love sweating in the gym. I frantically try to keep going on the treadmill to burn off as many of the naughty calories as I can. I can really feel myself spinning, almost like a spiritual awakening. My personal trainer is my motivator, and in many ways I feel like I have already won the battle of the bulge just by turning up.

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