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  • AUSTRALIA

    Martin Place terror belies quiet progress in relations between cultures

    • Zac Alstin
    • 15 December 2014
    25 Comments

    The siege at the Lindt chocolate shop in Sydney's Martin Place is frightening for all Australians. It also obscures the progress of relations between Muslims and other Australians, as such events have such an unfortunate polarising 'us and them' effect.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Suitcase crammed with affluence

    • Jena Woodhouse
    • 24 November 2014
    8 Comments

    What they thought could not be read in faces pinched with need. They plodded on, a ragged band of hungry, thirsty refugees, hoping for a crust of bread ... Perhaps tomorrow, there'd be grapes and oranges awaiting them; farmers who would pay in kind for harvesting.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    G20's opportunity to nail multinational tax dodgers

    • Angela Owen
    • 06 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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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The other hero of Anzac

    • Robyn Rowland
    • 13 October 2014
    8 Comments

    Muriel Wakeford was stunned to see the ocean suddenly scarlet, a shoal of new-mown corpses that lay face-down in the sea. She saw what few steps most men managed before a grey hail began dropping them like insects sprayed.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Hervey Bay boat arrival from Ireland

    • Frank Brennan
    • 21 September 2014
    5 Comments

    Considering my indebtedness to the two Aborigines who met [my family's ship arriving in Hervey Bay from Ireland] 151 years ago, I owe it to all my fellow Australians to agitate these issues of law, morality and politics here in Ireland so that back in Australia, the homeland which, in my religious tradition, was known as the Great South Land of the Holy Spirit.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    A Woman from the Provinces

    • Xiao Xiao
    • 15 September 2014
    2 Comments

    The woman from the provinces must have disturbed someone. Listen: the noise from below the Square. Countless faces aslant, breathing heavily. Rusting in the shell of broken words.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Our Lady of the Trap Door Spider

    • Paul Scully
    • 18 August 2014
    2 Comments

    Outside rituals, the salvation of small actions behind closed doors like the spider, my childhood friend, the silence returns, the woods of earlier times thin around me, my own tree shrinks back to its roots.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Christians and Muslims exchange Middle East kindness

    • Ruby Hamad
    • 31 July 2014
    5 Comments

    As an Arab-Australian it's difficult to watch the events in Syria, Iraq and Gaza without a sense of guilt and shame. To outside eyes, it must appear that the Middle East is driven by hatred and bloodlust. In fact there is a long history of persecuted members of one Middle Eastern faith finding safety in the places of worship of those that are often cast as their enemies. This is the Middle East, at once unconscionably cruel and unbearably kind.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    He taught me how to somersault

    • Susan Fealy
    • 14 July 2014
    2 Comments

    Shamed me with his arithmetic, built me a balance beam... Let me practise, practise, practise:My body weighted all its edges, open to his eyes, the air, the sun.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    A case of the Ramadan blues

    • Irfan Yusuf
    • 10 July 2014
    12 Comments

    We’re in Ramadan, a time when you’re supposed to be nicer than you normally are. In recent times my mob hasn’t received much niceness from certain quarters. Some of the nasties have been inspired by hysteria related to a proposal to build a mosque in Bendigo. I’m not quite sure what Bendigo’s largely university-based Muslim community did to deserve so much vitriol. 

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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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  • AUSTRALIA

    It's time Parliament had a say on 'disgraceful' PNG solution

    • Frank Brennan
    • 04 June 2014
    29 Comments

    Australia's cruel arrangement for asylum seekers arriving without a visa cannot be scrutinised by our courts and has never been approved by our Parliament. In the name of democracy, in the name of Australian self-respect, and in the name of human rights protection and the rule of law, it is time this arrangement was presented to our Parliament for its approval by our elected representatives or for immediate ditching. It's a disgrace.

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