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  • AUSTRALIA

    Don't denigrate rational regional Queensland

    • Kate Galloway
    • 21 May 2019
    22 Comments

    Queenslanders are subjected to the imposed norms of southerners all the time. Those in central and north Queensland are imposed to the same kind of disdain from Brisbane. In the wake of the Coalition's election victory, it has been unedifying to see opposition voters seeking to explain the loss of their parties by blaming a ‘stupid’ electorate.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    No simple case of right and wrong

    • Robert DiNapoli
    • 20 May 2019

    The work that's held my undivided heart now hangs upon the lip of the inane, a path I've struck, unwinding meaning's ball, or else a futile tangle, every day more lost to telos, purpose and design. No one else seems to have passed this way.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    A little more jaded but still valuing my vote

    • Neve Mahoney
    • 16 May 2019
    5 Comments

    In 2016, when some of my friends told me they weren't going to vote, I was aghast. I was so keen to get voting that the night before the election, I made a Word document to practise the order of my preferences. Fast forward to last week, when I couldn't remember which Saturday the election was on and feared I had accidentally missed it.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Politics of shame

    • John Falzon
    • 16 May 2019
    8 Comments

    I do not believe that most people do accept these violations of dignity, these instigations of shame. But the fact that we as a nation have tolerated these settings for so long makes it look like neoliberalism has crept into our souls, that we accept the institutionalisation of fear and shame.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    On first reading Boochani on Manus

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 07 May 2019
    10 Comments

    No Friend But the Mountains deservedly won an Australian prize but was considered ineligible for others because the writer was not Australian. The book itself mocks that exclusion. Boochani's years on Manus Island branded him as Australian in the same way African slaves became American by the brand American owners burned on to them.

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  • RELIGION

    Wrestling with the sacking of Israel Folau

    • Chris Middleton
    • 07 May 2019
    21 Comments

    Folau is a lay minister in his church. There is no doubt that he, as an evangelical Christian with a literal understanding of the text, believes a whole lot of people will go to hell unless they repent. His sacking raises questions around important issues in a society that values diversity and that promotes inclusivity and tolerance.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Spirit wit: Five sonnets for Les Murray

    • Philip Harvey
    • 02 May 2019
    4 Comments

    You could contrive a meandering sonnet, broach the third level of meaning with ease — Once main lines are coursing and images breeze. You were in it, around, beyond, upon it.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The politics of police shootings

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 02 May 2019
    8 Comments

    Found guilty for the slaying of Justine Damond Ruszczyk, Mohamed Noor became the first police officer to be convicted of murder in Minnesota in 'recent memory'. Minneapolis police spokesman John Elder insisted race had no part to play. A closer reading of the entire process presents a more complex, and troubling picture.

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  • FAITH DOING JUSTICE

    Parsing the Catholic bishops' election advice

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 02 May 2019
    10 Comments

    The Australian bishops' statement on the federal election is significant as much for the fact it was made as for its argument. Given the polarisation of public debate, they might well have thought it wiser to remain silent. For them the greatest success of the statement may be that, when they spoke of public issues, the sky did not fall in.

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  • RELIGION

    Church reform must increase transparency

    • John Warhurst
    • 02 May 2019
    24 Comments

    Those holding church authority should show the Catholic community that they have learnt the lessons offered by the royal commission by undertaking reforms as soon as possible and by telling us all about them in a spirit of transparency.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Sudanese Lost Boy's long walk comes to life

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 30 April 2019
    5 Comments

    When refugees write accounts of their lives they usually express gratitude to the nation that has received them. A Child Escapes, in which Francis Deng describes his life from Lost Boy of Sudan to refugee in Kenya to bank employee in Australia, is no exception. Left unsaid, but equally important, is the gift he and other immigrants are to Australia.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    First trip to red earth

    • Bernard Appassamy
    • 18 April 2019
    2 Comments

    The isolation is familiar — like the Mauritius I grew up in, but these swans also capture a different Australia to the one I have known until now. What appears spectacular to a tourist travelling in an air conditioned car remains brutal for the locals, as evidenced by the drought and near ghost towns forced to reinvent themselves through tourism.

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