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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    David v Goliath in the beautiful British countryside

    • Megan Graham
    • 16 August 2017

    One lone man daring to interfere with the evil plans of the rich and powerful: it’s not exactly a new angle, but there are a few scraps of satisfaction to be found in Joel Hopkin’s latest film Hampstead – just not in the realm of originality. It’s a sleepy story that meanders along with a mildly pleasant mediocrity.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What's a little lie between friends?

    • Barry Gittins
    • 11 August 2017
    6 Comments

    ‘Would I lie to you? Would I lie to you honey? Now would I say something that wasn't true?’ The Eurythmics’ hit from 1985 has been played repeatedly in my head of late as I negotiate life as a Dad.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The empty moral calculus of Turnbull and Trump

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 10 August 2017
    17 Comments

    The Turnbull-Trump tapes took one back. For some, it was back to the Watergate Tapes and the innocent years of Richard Nixon. For those of us of a certain age and faith, it was back to the primitive and unenlightened world of Abraham.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    What writers festivals say about culture

    • Tseen Khoo
    • 08 August 2017
    6 Comments

    The Melbourne Writers Festival (MWF) starts on Friday 25 August. It’s a good time to consider what such a festival says about our local cultures, as well as being a perfect time to think about how you relate to that culture. 

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    A terrifying new arms race

    • Todor Shindarov
    • 07 August 2017
    4 Comments

    Today’s highly technological era amazes us with possibilities for human growth and innovation, but in our amazement we often forget to tackle various pitfalls. Arguably, the biggest risk is the emerging military technology, about which there are many unanswered questions. We are faced with many uncertainties: security risks due to loss of competitiveness, potential control over advanced weapons by terrorists and, most importantly, reduced comprehension by the wider society—let alone any participation in the decision making process, as the frenzied pace of technological development increases.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The fear conundrum

    • Michael D. Breen
    • 07 August 2017
    13 Comments

    How much fear do we want? Enough of it preserves our lives. Too much of it diminishes our lives. Currently, the balance is skewed by an overload of fear. Anxiety, its clinical name, is in epidemic proportions.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Time to protect vulnerable university students

    • Fatima Measham
    • 04 August 2017
    9 Comments

    This week, the Australian Human Rights Commission released Change the Course. It is a landmark report into sexual assault and harassment at universities. The undertaking was propelled by survivors, student leaders and support organisations.

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  • RELIGION

    Respecting Australian law is key to religious freedom

    • Rachel Woodlock
    • 21 July 2017
    12 Comments

    Because we are a multicultural and multi-religious society, we do not impose a singular moral or religious code on everyone. Believers can follow their faith’s code of living voluntarily. But if they choose to enter public debate about legislation on questions that affect everybody, they must construct their arguments based on reasoning acceptable to non-believers.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Climate revolutionaries of East Africa

    • Paul O'Callaghan
    • 11 July 2017
    3 Comments

    The world's poor are bearing the brunt of global warming yet they have done the least to cause it. African countries have some of the lowest carbon emissions rates in the world, but their fields are drying up and their pastureland is vanishing. Still, all is not lost. If we want to find the answers to climate change, many of them exist within the communities already being impacted. These people understand the urgent threat posed by global warming and they are banding together to find solutions.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Is there an Asian Australian culture?

    • Tseen Khoo
    • 11 July 2017
    7 Comments

    The short answer is 'no'. There is no single Asian Australian culture, just as there is no single 'Australian culture'. As well as an unfortunate tendency to flatten differences, trying to talk about particular groups can serve a broader political and cultural project. I run a research network focused on Asian Australian Studies. The topics we cover strive to give depth and detail to otherwise stereotyped, shallow representations of Asians and Asian Australians that surround us.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Libraries adapt to the age of free information

    • Neve Mahoney
    • 06 July 2017
    6 Comments

    I often visit my local library. I tend to go in the after-school hours, so there are children everywhere. I can see mothers guiding young, chubby hands across picture book pages. I think of Mem Fox's advice about how children should hear a thousand stories before learning to read. With the internet and ebooks, the free information that made a library unique is no longer exclusive. Classic literature can be found with a Google search. So what do brick and mortar libraries offer that Amazon can't?

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Draconian citizenship mindset means no one's safe

    • Fatima Measham
    • 06 July 2017
    10 Comments

    The Guardian has revealed that two men holding dual Australian citizenship were sent to Christmas Island under section 501 of the Migration Act. The law enables the minister to detain or deport non-citizens who fail the 'character test'. The detention of these citizens was without question unlawful. The error was identified and they were released. It looks like a happy ending, but you'd have to squint hard.

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