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  • AUSTRALIA

    History repeating for oppressed Cambodians

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 19 August 2018
    2 Comments

    Hopefully Australia will take stronger measures against what is effectively a one party state that ruthlessly crushes opposition at home and seeks to intimidate and threaten critics abroad. It is not surprising that after 25 years, I am again seeing Cambodian asylum seekers.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Are Israel boycotts really anti-Semitic?

    • Na'ama Carlin
    • 13 February 2018
    11 Comments

    When New Zealand singer Lorde cancelled her 2018 concert in Israel, she joined the ranks of artists who boycott Israel to protest its occupation of Palestine. The Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement is contentious in Israel/Palestine activist or Jewish circles, with some calling it anti-Semitic.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Jane Goodall's quest to stem the human plague

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 11 July 2017
    7 Comments

    Revered for her groundbreaking study of chimpanzees in Tanzania's Gombe Stream, Goodall has spent the past three decades travelling the world in an effort to alert its human inhabitants to the alarming news: we are destroying the planet. The message seems to have been lost on those in a position to halt the change, for research scientists have just reported that a mass extinction is currently underway, a biological annihilation in which billions of regional or local populations have already been lost.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Changi war remembrance asks how we keep peace today

    • Francine Crimmins
    • 27 April 2017
    2 Comments

    The air-conditioned bus offers a sanctuary from the tropical temperatures outside. It's hard to believe these are the same temperatures experienced by inmates over 70 years ago on this site. It is not often that we consider peace as something we must constantly work for. Often it is portrayed as something which can be achieved and then passed down to us. Changi reminds us we shouldn't become complacent in our memory of war because it might cause us to lose sight of how we keep peace today.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Why we will never give up flying

    • Greg Foyster
    • 26 April 2017
    14 Comments

    I haven't flown for six years. I didn't feel a pressing need to travel, but most of all I didn't want to make such an enormous contribution to climate change. A return flight from Melbourne to London pumps about 1.8 tonnes of carbon pollution into the atmosphere, wiping out other efforts to reduce emissions at home. But now here I am on a Jetstar flight to Sydney for a climate change conference. As the plane takes off, I squirm with a sense of hypocrisy: I've broken my vow for the same reason I made it.

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  • RELIGION

    'Equal laws and equal rights ... dealt out to the whole community'. How close 161 years on?

    • Frank Brennan
    • 03 December 2015
    1 Comment

    'Tonight, gathered here in the Southern Cross Club in the national capital, gathered as Eureka's children. We affirm that there is room for everyone under the Southern Cross. I hope you will return to Canberra carrying the Southern Cross flag when we proclaim the Australia Republic on 1 January 2020 which will be two elections after Australia last had a monarchist leader of a major political party. Tony Abbott is the last of his type. Whether the prime minister honoured to witness the proclamation is Malcolm Turnbull, Bill Shorten or another matters not.' Annual Dinner for Eureka's Children, Southern Cross Club, Canberra, 3 December 2015.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Hipster heroes of gentrification

    • Charlotte Howell
    • 01 December 2015
    1 Comment

    I was born into a working class family in Leyton, East London. But in the late 1980s, gentrification in the area forced us to relocate to the poor working class town of Harlow, Essex. In a twist of fate, these days I can't even afford to live there. This time it is not due to gentrification brought about by 'hipster' entrepreneurs, but because powerful construction companies have replaced the historical architecture with new developments and housing estates. I know who I'd rather pick a fight against.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Windows to grace on the school bus

    • Brian Doyle
    • 12 October 2015
    6 Comments

    I am present in the kitchen window at 7.39 exactly if at all possible, to be given the gift of a kid licking his window, or a kid waving at me, or one little kid inarguably and thoroughly picking his nose. You wouldn't think that a boy picking his nose would be a glorious and poignant and thrilling and joyous sight, something that seemed truly and deeply holy, but it sure was, to me. All children are my children and yours and the bus bounces down the street every morning and we are not dead and all is grace.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Teen girls learn the language of love and violence

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 12 August 2015

    The characters, black and poor, inhabit a world where violence is as an expression both of material want and of dignity. One scene sees Marieme and the members of her all-girls soccer team walking home after dark. The girls are garrulous. But in the shadows of the flats, male voices utter vaguely threatening suggestive remarks. The chatter dissipates to silence as the group dwindles to individuals. It's a quietly harrowing picture of women's too-frequently justified fear of violence from men.

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  • Maintaining the humanity of the public square

    • Greg O'Kelly
    • 30 June 2015
    3 Comments

    The phrase 'the public square' is peppered throughout Frank Brennan's work. The 1988 film Cinema Paradiso depicts the public square in a Sicilian village over 30 or so years, and its slow and subtle change from a place where human beings gather to laugh, play and discuss. Billboards and garish signs appear and it becomes a car park bereft of its humanity.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The enigma of the island

    • Ian C Smith
    • 22 June 2015
    3 Comments

    Our salt-blasted car rental veteran guzzled fuel, gearbox a disaster gasping past wallaby roadkill leaving the dramatic volcanic mountainscape for glimpses of carved bays, Crusoe beaches contrasting with weathered scrub, still farms.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The wisdom of humane prison design

    • Mathew Drogemuller
    • 23 April 2015
    5 Comments

    The tougher the prison is, the tougher the prisoners will get, just to survive. Then, when they are released, all they know is crime and the only people they know are criminals with no money. But it doesn't have to be that way, as Norway's 'no bars' Halden facility demonstrates with its ensuites and flat screen TVs that mirror life 'on the outside' as far as possible.

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