Search Results: Race Matthews

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  • RELIGION

    Labor Party reform through Catholic Social Teaching

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 04 April 2017
    5 Comments

    It can be disconcerting to hear our family history told by a sympathetic outsider. I found Race Matthews' new book that treats Catholic engagement in public social issues fascinating in that respect. Matthews' perspective is that of a member of the Labor Party who admires Catholic Social Teaching, especially its commendation of the communal ownership of business enterprises. He sees the possibilities this presents for the reform of Australian society, particularly if adopted by the Labor Party.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Running after Merv Lincoln

    • Brian Matthews
    • 22 March 2016
    10 Comments

    I was out on our quiet country road the next morning at first light intent on running just half a mile. Some days later, when I had recovered and various outraged muscles had stopped twanging, I determined to carry on. In those days, running was regarded as eccentric, even sinister. 'Why do you do it?' the 'milky' asked. 'Are you a footy umpire or somethin'?' Then there was the elderly bloke who, driving past in his ute, stared back at me for so long to demonstrate his scorn that he drove off the road.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Pope Francis' hope for our poor earth

    • Paul Fyfe
    • 10 December 2015
    2 Comments

    Twenty years ago I was hopeful that countries would take strong and sensible action to address climate change, just as we had in 1987 when we faced the major depletion of the ozone layer. The following years slowly erased this hope. The Church did not do enough to stem disappointment, or to affirm that 'stewardship' alone was not going to provide sufficient grounds for the needed changes. By 2010 I was resigned to devastation. But Pope Francis has provided me with a ray of hope.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Aboriginal footballers' MCG dreaming

    • Brian Matthews
    • 15 October 2015
    3 Comments

    In the recent AFL Grand Final, the performance of Aboriginal footballer Cyril Rioli seemed to be not much short of magic. Well, perhaps the spirit world did make a contribution. In 1844, a great throng of clans was camped on the site of what became the MCG. Perhaps, 170 years later, Aboriginal footballers, running down the race for the first time and steeling themselves for the noise, the space, the tension, find instead a great sense of intimacy as their feet hit the grass of the oval.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Negotiating climate deniers and plovers

    • Brian Matthews
    • 26 February 2015
    9 Comments

    Call me paranoid if you like, but as I walked away, affecting a nonchalant strolling gait, I knew, I just knew, that she was a climate change denier and was daring me to argue the point. Had I hesitated one more moment, I would have been regaled with statistics about the mild coastal summer and other utterly benign climatological phenomena.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    David Cameron's shirtfronting impotence

    • Brian Matthews
    • 06 November 2014
    4 Comments

    Some aspects of the English/Scottish independence referendum confrontation rang interesting bells for Australia. But British PM David Cameron has had to tread cautiously on foreign policy to avoid adding grist to the 'Yes' campaign's mill. Not so Tony Abbott, for whom strutting the world stage works a treat to lift the pall of governmental confusion and unpopularity.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Encounter at the gate

    • Brian Matthews
    • 11 September 2014
    6 Comments

    I'm standing at the front gate, about to go for a run when he swings round the corner. He speaks in a deep, modulated voice that seems to run on like a quiet stream. Just when you think you might answer, the flow smoothly resumes, and he is an adept prince of the non sequitur. 'Ever take a short cut through the cemetery?'

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Abbott and co. working from Orwell's playbook

    • Brian Matthews
    • 17 July 2014
    20 Comments

    Life in Orwell's Airstrip One is graceless, demeaning and inhumane for all but those entitled to preferment. Surveillance is increasing, ruling-party secrecy and monopoly on information is rigid, refugees are demonised and language is reduced to sound bites and slogans. The leadership is disjoined from and cynical about the natural world. Just as well it's fiction because it sounds awful doesn't it?

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What the postmaster saw

    • Brian Matthews
    • 07 November 2013
    7 Comments

    Within an hour the shop is humming with talk and movement. Mac is courteous, but has some iron rules. A woman who talks ceaselessly into her mobile phone receives a steely glare and silence. Someone with both ears plugged into his iPod finds Mac has also suddenly gone deaf. Each new arrival is threaded into a sort of endless conversation which functions at two levels — greetings to the customer and side-of-the-mouth asides to me.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The trams revolt

    • Brian Matthews
    • 16 August 2012
    6 Comments

    Like a uniformed and undirected army, they queued end to end, an implacable wall of yellow and green. The trams seemed to squat somehow lower on their shiny rails — and all their lights went out. For more than a month they paralysed the city and everyone could see the government had entered its last days.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The lighter side of dementia

    • Brian Matthews
    • 19 July 2012
    4 Comments

    Just when my friend was thinking to find a quieter place for this lost and distressed elderly woman while he worked out what to do next, she turned to him, her face alight. With one movement she opened her mouth, removed her denture and held it towards him. On the 'gum' was clearly inscribed her name and a phone number.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Catholic social solutions to workplace fairness

    • Race Matthews
    • 31 January 2012
    5 Comments

    The worker-owned cooperatives based at Mondragon in Spain have demonstrated great resilience during harsh economic times. Their model based in Catholic social values provides a contrast to the bruising industrial confrontations we've seen in Qantas and Victorian hospitals.

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