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  • RELIGION

    Scott Morrison and the power of negative branding

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 24 October 2013
    33 Comments

    Suppose the media, shocked by the cavalier approach to politicians who claim allowances for travel and other perks, unanimously decided henceforth always to refer to our parliamentary representatives not as Members and Ministers, but as Rorters and Archrorters. The stigma that such branding would attach to political life would be reflected in a diminishment of the high level of trust in which they are currently held by the Australian public.

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  • MARGARET DOOLEY AWARD

    The ethics of paternalism in Aboriginal policy

    • Callum Denness
    • 25 September 2013
    3 Comments

    Following the abuse received by Adam Goodes from a teenage spectator in the AFL's Indigenous round, and the subsequent remarks made by Eddie McGuire, the country became embroiled in a debate about racism in modern Australia. Meanwhile, the Northern Territory introduced its Mandatory Alcohol Treatment Bill which, if passed, will see more Aboriginal people incarcerated. We were too busy describing the modern face of racism to notice.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The moral point of difference between Labor and the Coalition

    • Michael Mullins
    • 09 September 2013
    17 Comments

    There was cause for celebration on Saturday night for both the Coalition and Labor. The Coalition was able to claim a decisive victory in the Federal Election, and Labor defied expectations and remains viable. But not so for vulnerable people overseas who will lose their Australian foreign aid lifeline so that the Coalition can fund its election promises.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Credibility at stake for restrained religious media

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 05 September 2013
    22 Comments

    In Australia, September is the month of religious media conferences. This year church media, particularly Catholic media, face a growing challenge: how to deal with bad news about the Church, especially stories regarding sexual abuse and failures of governance. Pope Francis' own style of communication suggests an alternative purpose and approach that such media might adopt.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Community sector sickened by managerial mindset

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 15 August 2013
    10 Comments

    Although community organisations are often a burr in the saddle of a managerially minded government, they are important because they represent a humane vision and because they can reflect back to government an intimate experience of what is happening to the people whom they serve. Their advocacy, even when unwanted, keeps governments in touch with human needs.

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  • RELIGION

    Community fear feeds Fox News Muslim bashing

    • Ruby Hamad
    • 02 August 2013
    10 Comments

    The now notorious Fox News interview in which host Lauren Green quizzes academic Reza Aslan as to why he, a Muslim, 'would be interested in the founder of Christianity', is mind-boggling in its casual persecution. A similar mistrust of Muslims is evident in Australia, as the Ed Husic debacle demonstrated. Even I, a non-practising Muslim at best, encounter hostility when I write on certain issues.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    PNG policy places politics over principle

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 20 July 2013
    15 Comments

    PNG is not a resettlement country, has few if any resettlement services for a refugee population and is struggling with its own serious law and order and basic services issues. Australia has subcontracted its international obligations to a former colony. Once again the poorer countries of the world are used to warehouse refugees while the richer countries cherry-pick those they deem suitable for resettlement.

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  • RELIGION

    Women pioneers of Aboriginal Catholicism

    • Mike Bowden
    • 16 July 2013
    8 Comments

    The Church has taken some enormous steps towards making its ceremonial life more meaningful to Indigenous members. Frequently it has been women who have pioneered this work. But today many of these women in Central Australia, Arrernte and non-Arrernte alike, are ageing or becoming tired and jaded from lack of recognition.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Sex and power in football and politics

    • Barry Gittins and Jen Vuk
    • 28 June 2013
    5 Comments

    A young writer has crash tackled the ugly questions of non-consensual sex, coercion and the male privilege and misuse of power that can flow from sporting success. Yet when it comes to our football codes — let alone our political arena — a conversation needs to move beyond gender name-calling or the 'us and them' polemic.

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  • RELIGION

    Australia's morality drifts with asylum seeker bodies

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 17 June 2013
    20 Comments

    Sometimes events take on a significance beyond their historical context. That was the case with Gallipoli and the Eureka Stockade. It may also prove to be the case with the bodies left in the water after an asylum seeker boat sank, and the delay by the Australian authorities to take responsibility for their recovery.

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  • RELIGION

    Clobbering religious gay prejudice

    • Michael Kirby
    • 22 May 2013
    32 Comments

    The 2011 book Five Uneasy Pieces offered an alternative reading of the so-called 'clobber passages' that are at the core of religious unease about homosexuality. A follow-up volume pushes the envelope further by examining the biblical recognition of the variety of human love beyond traditional marriage.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Getting a grip on our asylum seeker whingeing

    • Caz Coleman
    • 13 May 2013
    20 Comments

    It has been embarrassing to sit in on meetings of the UNHCR recently and be asked by other countries' delegates why Australia is so worried about its relatively small number of asylum arrivals. We need to take a broader perspective on this issue and, rather than complain, learn how to better manage arrivals. 

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