Search Results: Brendan Ryan

  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Mekong coconut workers

    • Brendan Ryan
    • 12 December 2016

    Watch the man in his stained shirt barefoot under the palms. Adrift from younger workers he manages a rhythm, a cigarette-dangling-from-the-lip focus. His lined face belies the strength of his forearms, thrusting each coconut onto a metal spike that is his altar. Seven days a week he splits coconuts with the precision required to not sever a wrist in a country with no health insurance. Upriver, in the seamy heat of the Mekong Delta, it could be the 19th century. I don't know where to look.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Car park hunger

    • Brendan Ryan
    • 26 August 2014
    1 Comment

    A topless man shuffles into Coles. The Big Issue seller is liked and avoided. Buskers who specialize with the night, streetlights mooning the spaces that never close.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The last talker after Mass

    • Brendan Ryan
    • 09 April 2013
    7 Comments

    The straggly lines of his arguments follow cow paths ... He laughs as much as he spits. Veins in his cheeks, grey hair testament to frosty mornings, a bull bowling his wife over in the yard ... My father had developed a bad habit of listening.

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  • EDUCATION

    50 years since Australia's 'most poisonous debate'

    • John Warhurst
    • 09 July 2012
    10 Comments

    Labor speechwriter Graham Freudenberg observed that ‘the oldest, deepest, most poisonous debate in Australia has been about government aid to church schools’. The most dramatic episode in the history of church state relations in Australia was the Goulburn schools strike, which took place 50 years ago this month.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Supermarket and cemetery conversation

    • Brendan Ryan
    • 09 November 2010

    At the IGA, the woman at the check-out peppers her speech with Darl. Her friendliness, the way she packs my plastic bags, greets me two days later – a connection Facebook can’t provide.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The wild mind of Peter Steele

    • Morag Fraser
    • 28 May 2010
    8 Comments

    When I met Peter Steele I noticed a spark, a shimmer of wit that almost subverted his serious courtesy. There was a wild mind at work and play, and I would have to run prodigiously fast even to catch at its stirrups. So it has proved: it's been a long, vigorous, and exultantly grateful following.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Lying in the confessional

    • Brendan Ryan
    • 01 September 2009
    2 Comments

    inventing sins to keep the peace .. Were the priests cheated too, as I was? .. Or did they come to trust a congregation .. by the stories told in confession?

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  • RELIGION

    The 'bad eggs' of Ireland's abuse scandal

    • Frank O'Shea
    • 05 June 2009
    24 Comments

    After a lifetime in schools run by religious orders, I am appalled to think abuse against children in institutions in Ireland was 'endemic'. I try to persuade myself that 'Brendan', the saintliest man I ever knew, cancels out the bad eggs.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Inventing terror

    • Brendan Ryan
    • 07 October 2008

    newspaper sub-headings — 'war on terror' .. each page apportioning blame .. every fridge doing its bit .. modest ceremonies for the men who jumped .. to enlist, to escape

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  • RELIGION

    Educating leaders for the contemporary Australian Church

    • Frank Brennan
    • 06 October 2008

    'Lee and Christine Rush are your average Ozzie couple, except that their teenage son Scott is on death row in Bali having been convicted of being a hapless drug mule. It will not go down well on the streets of Jakarta if Australians are baying for the blood of the Bali bombers one month and then pleading to save our sons and daughters the next month.'

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Welcome workers from 'bipolar' Pacific

    • Jonathan Ritchie
    • 29 August 2008
    5 Comments

    Papua New Guineans have an abiding regard for Australia, and know far more about Australia than we do about their country. The introduction of the guest worker scheme sends a message to the Pacific of trust and respect.

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  • CONTRIBUTORS

    Brendan Ryan

    • Brendan Ryan
    • 17 May 2007

    Brendan Ryan's first collection of poetry, Why I Am Not a Farmer, was published by Five islands Press in 2000. A forthcoming poetry collection with Five Islands Press is due March 2007.

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