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  • AUSTRALIA

    Images that empower women

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 06 March 2015
    7 Comments

    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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  • ECONOMICS

    Joe Hockey's crystal ball

    • David James
    • 06 March 2015
    8 Comments

    The 2015 Intergenerational Report is reminiscent of a comment by that great 20th century philosopher and baseball player Yogi Berra: 'It’s tough to make predictions – especially about the future.' Many economic commentators have pointed out, rightly enough, that Treasury cannot even get its one year predictions right. Nevertheless, it is worth looking at how the 40 year forecasts are constructed to see the kind of thinking involved.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Birdman or (The Totally Expected Sin of Hollywood Narcissism)

    • Michael McVeigh
    • 01 March 2015

    With Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) winning the Best Picture Oscar, a lot of people are pointing out the fact that three of the last four Best Picture winners are about movies, or the act of making them. That's not including 2011 winner The King's Speech, which was about the art of performance. That Hollywood loves itself a little too much is an obvious, and probably valid, conclusion to draw. But the deeper question to ask is why films like Birdman resonate so strongly. Read more

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    We are all bigots

    • Justin Glyn
    • 19 January 2015
    18 Comments

    According to large sections of the media, 'we' are all Charlie now. While it is absolutely right that we stand with the victims and their families in grief and outrage at the terrible acts that took place in Paris earlier this month, predictably we have been told that we should, as a corollary, also defend people’s rights to say what they like, no matter how hurtful it may be. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    G20's opportunity to nail multinational tax dodgers

    • Angela Owen
    • 07 November 2014
    3 Comments

    The media has reported that Swedish furniture company IKEA's Australian arm has earned an estimated $1 billion in profits since 2003, almost all of which has been exported tax-free. Action to crack down on tax avoidance is on the agenda of next week's G20 in Brisbane, but it remains to be seen if the interests of developing countries will be looked after.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Looking for depth in the selfie

    • Ellena Savage
    • 31 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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  • MARGARET DOOLEY AWARD

    Flawed thinking that allows us to abuse animals

    • Valerie Wangnet
    • 24 September 2014
    14 Comments

    In Ancient Greece, Hippocrates used the term 'hysteria' to account for emotional instability and mental illness in women. This is a diagnosis that survived up until the first sparks of the women's suffrage movement in mid–19th century. In the case of food animals, we are told that they cannot think, suffer or feel pain.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    ISIS misusing ancient religious symbols

    • Irfan Yusuf
    • 22 September 2014
    21 Comments

    Today the Kalimah Shahada is being used on flags of groups whose mission is to kill Sunni and Shia Muslims. Imagine how it must feel to be a Sunni Kurd or a Shia Iraqi or an Alawi Syrian . Imagine how it must feel to be an ordinary Shia or Alawi or Sunni Australian walking around in a Sydney shopping centre and being treated by one's neighbours as an ISIS fighter.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Foster care's future in jeopardy

    • Darrell Cruse
    • 19 September 2014
    15 Comments

    More than forty thousand children are in out of home care in Australia. Yet with a drop in the number of available foster carers, there is a real danger foster care will be non-existent in five years, creating even more problems for already vulnerable children.  

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Making Indigenous Literacy Day obsolete

    • Luke Pearson
    • 03 September 2014
    13 Comments

    As a former primary teacher, I have seen the importance of literacy programs for our young people, and the joy and power that comes from learning to read, especially for older students who thought they would never get to read. If schools were given adequate support, resourcing, staffing and training to better cater for the needs and interests of Indigenous students and families, there would hardly be any need to mark Indigenous Literacy Day.  

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Imelda Marcos and the seduction of time

    • Fatima Measham
    • 29 August 2014
    7 Comments

    As the world marks the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearance on August 30, new generations of Filipinos find it hard to grasp what it meant to express dissent when Ferdinand Marcos was president. Some assert that, compared to the current standard of governance and politics, life must have been better under Marcos. Such perceptions are validated when trusted institutions invite Imelda Marcos as guest of honour.

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  • MARGARET DOOLEY AWARD

    Sitting in the doors of the powerful

    • James O'Brien
    • 13 August 2014
    18 Comments

    Religious leaders used methods of non-violent protest to respond to the Federal Government's 'No Way' campaign that aimed to discourage Afghan asylum seekers. Calling their movement 'Love Makes a Way', their strategy started to take shape: sit-ins in the electorate offices of federal parliamentarians, asking that justice may 'roll down like waters'. Nonviolent direct action changes hearts.

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